Blessing herbs and flowers on the Dormition, August 15

Neither the tomb, nor death, could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life, by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb (Kontakion for the Dormition).

As part of our celebration of Dormition on Tuesday, August 15, we will bless herbs and flowers for use in the home. Please bring herbs and flowers to Divine Liturgy (10:00 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m.). As a point of liturgical fact, the Church asks God to bless herbs and flowers –and thus us– to remind all of us of the gifts God has given us for our sustenance, healing and beauty.

Holy Tradition educates us that all the Apostles, except St. Thomas who was late, were transported mystically to Jerusalem in order to be with the Mother of God – the Theotokos – as she reposed, and to given her a burial. When Thomas arrived the next day, the Apostles opened the tomb so that he could kiss Mary farewell. The opened tomb revealed that the body of the holy Virgin of Mother of God was missing, and filled with herbs and flowers. This event was a sure sign of her great purity and holiness.

What happens to Mary happens to all of us who imitate her holy life of humility, obedience, and love.

Andriy Rabiy appointed new auxiliary bishop of archieparchy of Philadelphia

Today, the Holy Father appointed Father Andriy Rabiy as an auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians. He was assigned Father Andriy Rabiy the titular see of Germaniciana; he is currently protosyncellus (Vicar General) of the same archieparchy.

The bishop-elect is the youngest US bishop.

Father Andriy Rabiy was born in Lviv, Ukraine on 1 October 1975. He transferred to the United States and received his priestly formation in the Ukrainian St. Josaphat Seminary in Washington. In 1999 he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of America, in 2002 a Master’s degree in theology from the Theological Studium of the Dominican Fathers of Washington; and in 2008 a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America.

He was ordained a deacon on 15 November 1998 and a priest on 19 December 2001. He currently holds pastoral offices in the archieparchy of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians; he has served as protosyncellus, vice chancellor, member of the archieparchial college of consulters, member of the managing board of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania, member of the archieparchial presbyteral council, and director of the centre for childhood and youth protection. (VIS)

Blessing fruits today

As the Apostles recognized, “it is good for us to be here”.

Fr. Iura blessed fruits for the feast of the Transfiguration.

Happy Sunday!

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ

Sunday, 8/06/17   9th Sunday after Pentecost – Transfiguration of the Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

9:00 a.m. +Anna Muryn requested by Michael and Mary Muryn
Blessing of grapes and other fruit

10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish
Blessing of grapes and other fruit

Epistle: 2 Peter 1:10-19
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9, Tone 8

Monday, 8/07/17   Holy Venerable-martyr Dometius
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Tuesday, 8/08/17   Holy Confessor Emilian
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Wednesday, 8/09/17   Holy Apostle Matthias
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Thursday, 8/10/17   Holy Martyr and Archdeacon Lawrence
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Friday, 8/11/17   Holy Martyr Euplus
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Saturday, 8/12/17   Holy Martyrs Photius and Anicetas
9:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Sunday, 8/13/17 10th   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 4:9:16
Gospel: Matthew 17:14-23, Tone 1

Parish announcements this week

Christ is in our midst!

1. WELCOME ALL NEW PARISHIONERS! New parishioners are always welcome in our parish. If someone wishes to join, please contact Father Iura Godenciuc at 203 865-0388 or our financial secretary Natalie Chermak at 203-468-0367.

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

3. The vigil light in the sanctuary is NOT memorialized this week.

4. FOOD DRIVE: Judy Ellis leads the mercy project which provides food items to the needy. A container is in our church vestibule for non-perishable food. This collection will be taken every week. Father Iura will distribute the food to those in need. Thanks for your generous support.

5. PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Will take place on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 6:00 p.m., In the church hall. Main Topic: Coordinate with the KofC plans for the Independence Day Picnic. Other topics: physical plant improvements, hall rentals. All are invited to attend.

6. PARISH COUNCIL: Natalie Chermak, Nataliya Lyalka, Andrew Bamber, Anna Salemme, Walter Ushchak, Halya Lodynsky, Marybeth Gawron, Christine Melnyk, Myron Melnyk, Maria Antonyshyn, Michael Muryn, and Carl Harvey.

7. KofC: The Knights of Columbus Blessed Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Ukrainian Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the church hall. All men of parish are invited to attend to see what the Knights are all about and what they do and what you can do with them for your parish.

8. ROOF REPAIR: The sacristy roofs repair has been completed. New framing for the edges and proper flashing has been installed. The damaged air conditioner supports have been replaced and the wiring has been updated. The cold air ducts have been insulated and refastened. A service for the air conditioners is being scheduled.

9. ROOF REPAIR FUND ROOF, CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLEDGES: Please consider the immediate as well as the long term repair capital improvement projects that are being planned, both now and the future and make a generous contribution to allow us to protect our property. The Church hall roof which is 34 years old has developed major leaks. Most of the other roofs especially the Sacristy roof has serious problems. These roofs must be repaired to prevent further water damage to our property and we cannot pay for them from regular weekly collection. Roof Repair Fund envelopes as well as the long term Pledge forms are available in the vestibule of our church for your special sacrificial gift. Thank you for helping to keep our physical structures in good condition for our use today and for the next generation tomorrow.

Blessing grapes on Transfiguration Sunday

At both of the Divine Liturgies (9 and 10:30am) Father Iura will bless grapes and other fruit on Transfiguration Sunday, August 6.

Bring grapes and fruit 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 Sunday, 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 is 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.

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.

Hence, grapes ought to remind us that by our life  we are known for our service to others. Thus, the grapes remind us that we should not be sour grapes for others.

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

At the end of the reading of St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians today, St. Paul says, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

On this coming Tuesday, we celebrate the feast of the Procession of the Holy Cross (August 1). The Synaxarion says, “On this day, it was customary in Constantinople to take the relic of the Precious Cross from the imperial palace and carry it to Haghia Sophia, escorted by a crowd of priests and deacons who censed it along the way.” I suspect that this day was the beginning of a period of preparation for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, to be celebrated in approximately seven weeks. We are asked to look toward the Holy Cross as the center of our Christian life.

In the section of 1 Corinthians immediately the Sunday reading, St. Paul says, “For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” The Christian faith is a paradox that finds strength in weakness, life in death and wisdom in foolishness. No wonder St. Paul observes today, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.” But what does the cross mean for our faith? Obviously, almost none of us will have to die as Christ did, nailed to a cross, though it is possible that some of us will have to surrender our lives for faith in Jesus.

The gospel helps us to understand this. To carry the cross, we must put Jesus first in everything, as our Lord and Savior. It is he who feeds us with the bread of life in the desert of our lives. The multiplication of the loaves is a sign of the eucharist, of Christ giving himself to us, so that we might live in him and him alone. To accept the cross does not mean gratuitous suffering, but the will to live in Christ above all, to be so confirmed in faith that we would lay down our lives for him. The power of the cross, therefore, is not in human eloquence but in the reality of a soul alive in Christ, as St. Paul again proclaimed, “For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. (Galatians 2:19-20)” It means, as in today Gospel, imitating the Lord, who “saw the vast crowd, [and] his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.”

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Sunday, 7/30/17    8th Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. For the people of the parish
10:30 a.m. +Michael Curkan (40 days, Pan.) requested by the Family

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Gospel: Matthew 14:14-22, Tone 7

Monday, 7/31/17    The Holy and Just Eudocimus
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Tuesday, 8/01/17    The Seven Holy Martyred Maccabees, their mother Solome and their Teacher Eleazar
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Wednesday, 8/02/17    Transfer of the Holy Relics of the First-martyr and Archdeacon Stephen
8:00 a.m.+Ivan and Halyna Lobay requested by Maria Lobay

Thursday, 8/03/17    Our Venerable Father Isaac (406-25), Dalmatus and Faustus
8:00 a.m. +Ivan and Olena Godenciuc (Pan.)

Friday, 8/04/17    The Seven Holy Youths of Ephesus
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Saturday, 8/05/17    Holy Martyr Eusignius
9:00 a.m. +Marianka Romanytch, Bohdan Antonyshyn(Pan.) requested by Maria Antonyshyn, Schiano family

Sunday, 8/06/17    9th Sunday after Pentecost —Transfiguration of Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

9:00 a.m. +Anna Muryn requested by Michael and Mary Muryn

Blessing of grapes and other fruit

10:30 a.m.  For the people of the parish

Epistle: 2 Peter 1:10:19
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9, Tone 8

Parish announcements this week

Christ is in our midst!

1. WELCOME ALL NEW PARISHIONERS! New parishioners are always welcome in our parish. If someone wishes to join, please contact Father Iura Godenciuc at 203 865-0388 or our financial secretary Natalie Chermak at 203-468-0367.

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

3. The vigil light in the sanctuary is burning this week to the Glory of God in memory of Ivan and Olena Godenciuc offered by Iuliana and Fr. Iura Godenciuc.

4. FOOD DRIVE: Judy Ellis leads the mercy project which provides food items to the needy. A container is in our church vestibule for non-perishable food. This collection will be taken every week. Father Iura will distribute the food to those in need. Thanks for your generous support.

5. ROOF REPAIR FUND ROOF, CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLEDGES: Please consider the immediate as well as the long term repair capital improvement projects that are being planned, both now and the future and make a generous contribution to allow us to protect our property. The church hall roof which is 34 years old has developed major leaks. Most of the other roofs especially the Sacristy roof has serious problems. These roofs must be repaired to prevent further water damage to our property and we cannot pay for them from regular weekly collection. Roof Repair Fund envelopes as well as the long term pledge forms are available in the vestibule of our church for your special sacrificial gift. Thank you for helping to keep our physical structures in good condition for our use today and for the next generation tomorrow.

6. PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Will take place on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 6:00 p.m., In the church hall. Main Topic: Coordinate with the KofC plans for the Independence Day Picnic. Other topics: physical plant improvements, hall rentals. All are invited to attend.

7. Parish Council: (Revised) Natalie Chermak, Nataliya Lyalka, Andrew Bamber, Anna Salemme, Walter Ushchak, Halya Lodynsky, Marybeth Gawron, Christine Melnyk, Myron Melnyk, Maria Antonyshyn,  Michael Muryn,  Carl Harvey.

8. KofC: The Knights of Columbus Blessed Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Ukrainian Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the church hall. All men of parish are invited to attend to see what the Knights are all about and what they do and what you can do with them for your parish.