Saints Peter and Paul Fast 2023

Today, Monday, June 5, we begin the Fast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (ending on June 28). As with all major feasts there’s a period of spiritual preparation through the gestures of prayer, fasting and alms giving; all three deepen our conversion and discipleship with the Lord.

This Apostles’ Fast can be observed in different ways, traditionally it is a Monday-Wednesday-Friday Fast, with a lighter Fast on the other days. This Fast is not compulsory, but optional in the Byzantine Catholic Church.

The Church, in her wisdom, invites us to participate in some way as we prepare for the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. Consider doing all or some preparation for the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul.

We have ancient witnesses to doing fast of the holy Apostles, some the sources demonstrate that St. Athanasius the Great is oldest of the advocates of the Apostles’ Fast, and we have the words of St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Leo the Great and Theodoret of Cyrrhus supporting the practice and tradition.

You won’t regret doing the fast, especially if you can do it with others. The fast opens us up to receiving the Gifts of the Holy Spirit!

Ascension of the Lord

Hope you have a blessed day!

When you had fulfilled the plan of salvation for us and united the earthly with the heavenly, you were taken up in glory, O Christ our God. Never parting from us but remaining constantly, you proclaim to those who love you: I am with you and no one can be against you. [Kontakion]

Educate yourself:

Scripture: Luke 24:36-53

Reflection on the Leave-taking of Pascha to the Sunday of All Saints

First Communion celebrated

The following children, will making their First Holy Communion in our church today:


Today our prayer are for the first Holy Communicants who will approach the altar, solemnly receive the sacrament of the Eucharist for the first time.

This is a memorable day in the child life and how often they will recall it as the years pass!

Children, often receive into your hearts Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Remember His promise that He will be with us to Comfort and guide us in our daily lives. He is your best friend
and will never let you down.

God bless and protect our First Holy Communicants, their teacher Halya Lodynsky, their parents, grand-parents, and God-parents, who raised them up in the love of Christ. Parents,
keep bringing them to church every Sunday. It is the sacred duty of parents to provide not just the material well-being of their children but also for the spiritual well-being, upon which depends their eternal life.

The Divine Liturgy is at 10:30 a.m. The Moleban to the Mother of God precedes the Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.

The Sunday of Zacchaeus

Though there is no special office for this Sunday, it is commonly seen as the beginning of our preparation for the Feast of our Lord’s Resurrection. Today we must be Zacchaeus. When Jesus came to Jericho, “Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.” Today is where we start our search for God, who is coming to take away the sin of the world. Today we must be filled with the desire to see God, as was Zacchaeus. Today we must acknowledge our sins, for Jesus is coming to our church, today he is coming into our homes, more exactly, into the home of our heart. What a contrast between Zacchaeus and the Blind Man of Jericho who could not see and begged Jesus for sight.

Zacchaeus could see and yet climbs the sycamore tree to get the best possible view. What a contrast between Zacchaeus and the rich young man. The rich young man could not let even one penny of his riches escape his grasp, but Zacchaeus says, “Half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” Today, Jesus tells us, “Salvation has come to this home.” It is already Pascha, if we turn to our Lord in his mercy, if we seek him with the zeal of Zacchaeus.

Today St. Paul’s promise is fulfilled, “We have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10)” Today we must be among those who believe.

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

The parable read today is usually called “the parable of the Prodigal Son,” who is at the center of the story. It might also be called “the parable of the Merciful Father,” who welcomes back his son, embracing him, restoring him to his position, declaring a joyous celebration without even seeming to hear or listen to his son’s confession or protestation. It might also be called “the parable of the Petulant Son,” who is grumpy and peeved at the father’s merciful loving kindness because he thinks that he himself is so much better than his brother. As we prepare for the Great Fast, do we see a pattern developing? The pharisee thought he was much better than the tax-collector, the older son thought he was so much better than his prodigal brother, but God overflows in love for all his creatures. Perhaps the real main purpose of the Great Fast is to turn from pride to humility, to begin to see others through the eyes of God, to overflow in love for others. Truly, what does it mean to be a Christian?

The return of the prodigal Son was marked by a great banquet given by the Merciful Father. We are all invited to that banquet, celebrated at every Divine Liturgy, where the food is not the “fattened calf” but the body and blood of our Lord, the only-begotten Son of the Father. How do we approach this banquet, in the humility of the son who acknowledges his unworthiness or in the pride of the older son, who objects to the presence of his weaker brother? The answer is what it means to be a Christian.

“Receive me now, Lord, as you once received the Prodigal. Open to me your fatherly arms, and in thanksgiving I will sing of your glory and goodness” (Sunday of the Prodigal Son Canon, Ode 1, troparion 3)

The parable of the Prodigal Son is also commemorated on the Second Sunday of the Great Fast, in the Canon of Matins, because the origin of the Triodion is from Palestine, where this Gospel was read on the Second Sunday.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Priesthood Sunday 2021

Please pray for Fr Iura, our priest, especially this weekend for Priesthood Sunday. Tell Fr Iura Godenciuc you are praying for him, too.

Let us build up the priesthood, one priest at a time!

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today, September 14th is the commemoration of the Feast of the Exaltation (Discovery) of the Holy Cross.

From a discourse by the bishop St. Andrew of Crete, we learn:

We are celebrating the feast of the Cross,
which drives away darkness and brought in the light.
As we keep the feast,
we are lifted up with the crucified Christ,
leaving behind us earth and sin
so that we may gain the things above.
So great and outstanding a possession is the Cross
that he who wins it has won a treasure.
Rightly could I call this treasure the fairest of all fair things
and the costliest, in fact as well as in name,
for on it and through it and for its sake
the riches of salvation that had been lost
were restored to us…
And if you would understand that the cross is Christ’s triumph,
hear what He Himself also said:
“When I am lifted up,
then I will draw all men to Myself.”
Now you can see that the Cross is Christ’s glory and triumph.

Blessings for the feast, I hope you are celebrating!

Commemorating the Transfiguration

The Divine Liturgy is at 9am today.

Why do we commemorate the experience of the Lord’s Transfiguration? Can you locate what is revealed in sacred Scripture?

Let’s start with the Transfiguration in Scripture –You can find the narrative in the synoptic Gospels Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36.

“Today we celebrate the overwhelming beauty of human nature, restored in Christ as a prelude to the Resurrection.

The gospel event served to strengthen the apostles’ faith before his passion and death. In the ancient Church, this lesson was read during Lent. Some time before the sixth century, a church was dedicated to the Transfiguration on Mt Tabor, and the feast acquired the calendar date we now observe.

The Transfiguration is the clearest epiphany recorded in Scripture. Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the Prophets, appear with Christ, bearing witness to him as Messiah. The light emanating from Christ in this vision has provided a long line of Church fathers with a theme that has become the unifying thread in Byzantine theology — the vision of God as light.

This tradition is founded on St John, one of Christ’s companions on the mountain. He opens his account of the good news by saying, “The Word was the true light that enlightens all people. He lived among us, and we saw his glory!”

In this light, humanity, along with all creation, enjoys this deifying vision. Furthermore, our happiness will increase along with our ability to see the reality of this manifestation.

It has been the task of monastics of all times to embody the fruits of this vision for the encouragement of all. For in true asceticism, the world is not held in contempt, but seen in the light of its original beauty which in turn calls forth compassion and love.” (NS)