Divine for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ

Sunday, 8/05 11th Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. +Ann Muryn requested by Mary and Michael Muryn
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 9:2112
Gospel: Matthew 18:23-35, Tone 2

Monday, 8/06 The Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
9:00 a.m. Special Intention
~Blessing of Fruits

7:00 p.m. For the people of the parish
~Blessing of Fruits

Tuesday, 8/07 Post-feast of the Transfiguration; the Holy Venerable-martyr Dometius

Wednesday, 8/08 Post-feast of the Transfiguration; the Holy Confessor Emilian

Thursday, 8/09 Post-feast of the Transfiguration; the Holy Apostle Matthias

Friday, 8/10 Post-feast of the Transfiguration; the Holy Martyr and Archdeacon Lawrence

Saturday, 8/11 Post-feast of the Transfiguration; the Holy Martyr Euplus

Sunday, 8/12 12th Sunday after Pentecost —Leave-taking of the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration

8:00 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Gospel: Matthew 19:16-26, Tone 3

The Transfiguration

“Then Moses said, “Please let me see your glory!” The Lord answered: I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim my name, “Lord,” before you; I who show favor to whom I will, I who grant mercy to whom I will. (Exodus 33:18-19)”

“But the Lord was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. (1 Kings 19:12-13)”

“After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, ‘Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’ (Matthew 17:1-2.5)”

In the Creed we profess at every Liturgy, we proclaim, “I believe … in one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, the only-begotten, born of the Father before all ages. Light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in essence with the Father.” In the gospels there is no clearer revelation of Jesus as Son of God than in his transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. Moses who was unable to see the face of God on Mt. Sinai and Elijah, who was in God’s presence as “a light silent sound” today see the face of God in Jesus, His only-begotten Son. Of course, the truth was that we did not see the divine nature, but we beheld the glory of God “as much as we could bear,” (Kontakion of Transfiguration). Even in death we cannot comprehend the essence of God as he is in himself, for to do that we would have to be God. Yet today we see that we can be united in God, just as God has taken on himself the human nature. This is revealed in 2 Peter 1:3-4 and 17-18: His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire …. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory, “This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.” This is our hope of deification, as we sing, “Showing the change that mortals will undergo, O Lord, when they enter your glory at your second and awesome coming, you were transfigured on Mount Tabor. (Session Hymn 1, Transfiguration Matins)”

Transfiguration and Blessing of Grapes, August 6

At both of the Divine Liturgies (9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. in English) Father Iura will bless grapes and other fruit for the Feast of the Transfiguration, Monday,  August 6. It is a holy day.

Please bring grapes and fruit  blessings to observe the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

Why bless grapes on this day?

On the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, and Your disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could see it; so that when they would behold You crucified, they would understand that Your suffering was voluntary, and would proclaim to the world that You are truly the Radiance of the Father (Kontakion for the Transfiguration).

The Transfiguration of Our Lord, as testified to in Divine Revelation shows us our ultimate destiny as Christians: the ultimate destiny of all men and all creation to be transformed and glorified by the splendor of God Himself.

The feast of the Transfiguration on Monday, August 6th, is a summer celebration and expectation of Great Lent, of the Eucharist, the Cross, and the Resurrection. The Church blesses grapes, as well as other fruits, on the Transfiguration as a beautiful sign of our final ­transfiguration of all things in Jesus Christ. This is a very ancient observance. We bless grapes because we bless God! The gesture of bringing and blessing of grapes points to the ultimate flowering and fruitfulness (generativity) of all creation in the Paradise; here we all will be transformed in the garden by the glory of the Lord.

Bunches of grapes are symbols of completion —especially experienced in the completion of the growing season— which has finally brought things to fruition.  Christians see in the grapes the biblical image of Jesus as the Vine. We also understand in the blessing of grapes and fruit high praise for God the Creator of all good things of the universe. So the connection between creation and Eucharist is present in these holy actions on the Transfiguration feast.

In the Bible we read of the custom of bringing fruit to the temple for consecration (Genesis 4:2-4; Ex 13:12-13; Numbers 15:19-21; Deuteronomy 8:10-14). In the New Testament the 12 Apostles brought this tradition to the Church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). Later in the early centuries of Christianity, the faithful brought to the Church fruits and vegetables of the new harvest: bread, wine, oil, incense, wax, honey, etc. Some of the offerings were taken to the altar, and the balance made available to needs of the clergy and the poor.

The Dormition Fast begins today

We Byzantine Catholics prepare for the great feast of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos (Assumption of the BVM) on August 15 by a special fast.

There is the venerable practice of preparing oneself for the Feast, hence some of us observe the Dormition Fast. This fast is one of the four fasting seasons of the Byzantine church year. The spiritual practices are those spoken of in the Sermon on the Mount: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and forgiveness. Committed Christians do these things all year long; they are not limited to one or another time of the year. During fasting seasons we simply do them to a greater degree.

“Traditionally the Fast begins on August 1 with a special procession with the life-giving cross and a blessing of water. When Constantinople was the capitol of a Christian empire, it was the custom to carry the relic of the Holy Cross throughout the city every day of the Fast.”

In the Pastoral Guide of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the USA we read:

The Dormition Fast (Spasivka) begins on August I and lasts until the eve of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 14), inclusively.

Art. 474 – General rules governing abstinence:

Meat is to be understood as including not only the flesh but also those parts of warm-blooded animals that cannot be melted down, e.g., the liver, lungs, blood, graves, etc.

Although it is not the authentic practice of the Tradition. the meat of fish and crustaceans may be eaten, as well of those mammals, that live constantly in water, as, e.g., whales.

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, and its by-products, eggs, etc.

Fats of plant origin, e.g., those derived from olives, coconuts, seeds of the sunflower and of the pumpkin, may be used.

Voluntary penance, prayers for the intentions of the hierarchs of the Church, Bishop of Rome, the Major Archbishop, the Metropolitan, and the Eparchial Bishop; voluntary offerings to the Church, the seminaries, the Church in Ukraine, self-denial of alcohol, smoking, attendance at entertainment, etc., may be supplementary only with permission of a confessor. Bread and water alone is a good fast.

Priests who possess a pastoral assignment are empowered to grant dispensations or relaxation from the laws of abstinence to individual persons as well as to individual families. The following are exempt from abstinence:

Pope’s prayer intention for August

For August, the intention we are asked to pray for in communion with the Roman Pontiff, Francis,

That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Sunday, 7/29 10th Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. +Francis Dmyterko (12th Anniv.) requested by the Family
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 4:9-16
Gospel: Matthew 17:14-23, Tone 1

Monday, 7/30 Holy Apostle Silas

Tuesday, 7/31 Our Venerable Father Eudocimus

Wednesday, 8/01 The Seven Holy Maccabees

Thursday, 8/02 Translation of the relics of Stephen
8:00 a.m. +Ivan and Halyna Lobay (Pan.) requested by Maria Lobay

Friday, 8/03 Venerable Fathers Isaac, Dalmatus and Faustus
9:00 a.m. +Bohdan and Marianka (Pan.) requested by Maria Antonyshyn and the Schiano Family

Saturday, 8/04 The Holy Seven Youths of Ephesus

Sunday, 8/05 11th Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. +Ann Muryn requested by Mary and Michael Muryn
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 9:2-12
Gospel: Matthew 18:23-35, Tone 2

Parish announcements this week

Christ is in our midst!

WELCOME NEW PARISHIONERS! New parishioners are always welcomed in our parish. If someone wants to register with our parish please contact Father Iura Godenciuc at 203-865-0388 or our financial secretary Natalia Chermak.

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

VIGIL LIGHT: This week vigil light is offered to God’s glory by Christopher Komondy in memory of All deceased of the Komondy family.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS: The Knights of Columbus Blessed Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Ukrainian Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, August 6, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the church hall. All men of the parish are invited to attend.

We have frozen pyrohy for sale while supplies last. More information can be read here: http://stmichaelukrainian.org/pierogies/

STAMFORD CHARITIES APPEAL

REMINDER: Please don’t forget to donate for the Charities Appeal. Please make your check payable to the BYZANTINE RITE DIOCESE OF STAMFORD.  DO NOT MAIL THE FORM TO THE CHANCERY OFFICE IN STAMFORD. We sincerely ask all parishioners to make generous contributions. Thank you for your generosity and may God reward you!

SISTERS SERVANTS OF MARY IMMACULATE invites you to the 64th Holy Dormition Pilgrimage on August 11-12. Theme “MARY, OUR MODEL OF PRAYER: Do Whatever He Tells You,” with His Beatitude Patriarch SVIATOSLAV (Shevchuk) and bishops of the Ukrainian and Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic Churches in the United States. Our special guests will be: His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Sister Sofija Lebedowicz, SSMI, Superior General.

The Niagara Frontier Council will be hosting the 79th Annual Convention of the League of Ukrainian Catholics on October 5-7, 2018 at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Amherst, NY. This year we celebrate the 85th Anniversary of the founding of the League of Ukrainian Catholics in Chicago in 1933. We hope you will be with us at this special anniversary in some way. Either join us at the Convention, or at your homes in prayer especially on Sunday, October 7 when we will be streaming Liturgy from St. Nicholas in Buffalo at 10:30 AM. For Hotel Reservations, you can call the hotel directly at (716)839-4040. Hyatt place reservations at 1-888-492-8847. Reservations can also be made online at: https//buffaloamherst.place.hyayy.com/bufzaglouc2018.html. Group: League of Ukrainian Catholics. The room rate is $124.00 per night. The deadline for hotel reservations is September 6, 2018. 

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Read: 1 Corinthians 4:9-16; Matthew 17:14-23

This Sunday’s Gospel is the story of a boy possessed by a demon. Jesus’ followers cannot heal him, so Jesus himself casts out the demon. This story is repeated twice during the Church year: the first time during the Great Fast, on the Fourth Sunday, according to St. Mark. The second time is this Tenth Sunday. The Gospel of St. Matthew adds a saying not found in St. Mark: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,” and it would be moved.” Both gospels are about faith that is beyond human power. We cannot be Christians without faith in our Lord, but we cannot attain this faith only by our own powers. We ask, “Why can we not cast out the evils in our life?”

Faith is a gift of God, not obtainable by human power. That is why, even if our gift of faith is very small, it can do the impossible, for if we are touched even a little by God’s power, we can be saved and transformed. This gospel, then, continues the theme of last Sunday, it is Jesus coming to us that lifts us above our natural calling. We must be open to the gift of faith.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

The Holy Anna, Mother of the Theotokos

Today we liturgically recall the Dormition of Saint Anna, Mother of the Most Holy God-bearer Theotokos –the grandmother of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“And gazing towards the heaven, she saw a sparrow’s nest in the laurel, and made a lamentation in herself, saying: Alas! Who begot me? And what womb produced me? Because I have become a curse in the presence of the sons of Israel, and I have been reproached, and they have driven me in derision out of the temple of the Lord. Alas! To what have I been likened? I am not like the fowls of the heaven, because even the fowls of the heaven are productive before You, O Lord. …. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth; and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world” (Protoevangelium of James, 3,4).

The story of Anna giving birth is found only in the apocryphal work, the Protoevangelium of St. James. The story, though, is the great tradition of Abraham and Sarah, where their childlessness was taken away in old age. This is true also of Zachary and Elizabeth – for those who were barren, Hod bestows an abundance of blessings, the giving of birth to people who are most important for our salvation.

St. Paul comments on this in today’s epistle, “For it is written: ‘Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children; break forth and shout, you who were not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the deserted one than of her who has a husband’” (Galatians 4:27). This is truly the hallmark of God’s saving action. Those who seem abandoned are those whom God blesses the most. Therefore, the greatest sin we can commit is despair, thinking that God cannot save us. Peter denied Christ, Judas betrayed Christ, but Peter wept in hope and Judas wallowed in despair. Today’s feast tells us that God never abandons those who put their faith in him.

Blessed is Anna, who became the grandmother of God!