Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Transfiguration

УКРАЇНСЬКA КАТОЛИЦЬКA ЦЕРКВА ПРЕОБРАЖЕННЯ ГОСПОДНЬОГО


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Празник празників! Feast of feasts!

EasterThere is no more important celebration on the Christian calendar than today: the feast of the Lord’s resurrection. Among the many, many words that have been spoken and written about this day, none surpass those of the 4th century, St. John Chrysostom (who is credited as the author of our regular Divine Liturgy. His homily is traditionally proclaimed every Easter.

Let all the pious and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast; let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord; let those who have borne the burden of Lent now receive their pay, and those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward …

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Why go to church? [Pt. 10] Що відбувається на Службі Божі?

Is it mandatory for a Christian to receive the Eucharist?
In the same way that it is to attend the Divine Liturgy.

The Liturgy is a unity. The Gospel reading, the offering, the eucharist, the dismissal, just as our singing, and the incensing of the priest—are all equally important.

But you said that Liturgy is not an obligation …
Exactly. Neither Eucharist nor Liturgy are obligatory. The Eucharist is a way of life: I live in Christ and with Christ and so I receive his body and blood. In this way, that is absolutely unfathomable to human understanding, I unite myself to Christ, who leads me to God. If we want to live fully, if we want to live the life to which God has invited us, he has provided us the way: the Eucharist. Jesus said that whoever consumes His body and blood will have life within them.

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What does it mean to stand guard at our Lord’s gravesite? Як будемо стояти на варті при Божому Гробі?

The first and most important responsibility is to read, out loud, the Acts of the Apostles. Our Lord is symbolically in the grave BUT His work has not ended.

The Book of Acts tells the story of the beginning of the Church. In spite of the misery of Christ’s death we cannot fall into despair for Christ will rise and His Church will flourish!

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Why go to church? [Pt. 9] Що відбувається на Службі Божі?

Communion imageWhat if at Liturgy there are 200 or 300 strangers around me? How am I supposed to celebrate?

One might disagree, but I say that at Liturgy it makes no difference if people know each other or have anything in common – because the fact that they are present for the Divine Liturgy forms the link between them. This is what we have in common.

We may not recognize this because we usually emphasize psychological aspects of relationships. In order to relate to someone, to show love and kindness, I need to know that person pretty well. Certainly. But the Liturgy leads us to a higher level of awareness of what it is to be human, and what it means to relate to each other. We are united by the ineluctable fact of our humanness, our baptism, our being loved by God.

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ПОРЯДОК ВІДПРАВ/Easter Order of Services

Easter2017April 10th (Monday)
10:00 Утреня/Matins

April 12th Страсна середа/Holy Wednesday
10:00 a.m. Літургія Єлейопомазання/Liturgy of Anointing

April 13th Страсний четвер/Holy Thursday
10:00 Вечірня з Літургією св. Василія Великого / Vespers with the Divine Liturgy
of Basil the Great
6:00 p.m. Утреня страстей (читання 12 євангелій)/Matins of the Passion
(reading of the 12 Gospels)

April 14th Велика п’ятниця/Good Friday
3:30 p.m. Вечірня з обходом і виставленням плащаниці/
Vespers with procession and exposition of the Holy Shroud
СТОРОЖ біля Божого Гробу – VIGIL at the tomb of Our Lord

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Why go to church? [Pt. 8] Що відбувається на Службі Божі?

Communion imagePeople often complain that they don’t understand what is going on during the service. Here are two suggestions:

  1. During the Liturgy, follow along in the prayer books – either in Ukrainian or English.
  2. Find someone who can explain the text, because it was written a long time ago and has archaic terms and unfamiliar phrases. But I’m convinced that these prayers are actually very current today. Their genius lies in that, despite being ancient, they continue to appeal to human emotions and resonate with us.

For example, during the Divine Liturgy the priest says, “We hand over our life and hope to you, Lord, Lover-of-humanity”. This phrase is brimming with significance!

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Що відбувається на Службі Божі? Why go to church [Pt. 7]

But are some sections of the Liturgy more important than others?
No. Absolutely not. I’m not a fan of the (sadly) popular approach of dividing the Liturgy into more or less important segments. Because the Liturgy is a totality in itself and every separate section makes sense only in relation to the whole. If you fragment the unity then everything falls apart, shatters, and we cannot understand what is there.

The Gospel reading, the offering of the gifts, the eucharist, the dismissal, as much as the singing, the incensing of the priest—everything—is absolutely essential.

And for that matter, that we celebrate the Liturgy …
(Supposed to be celebrating)

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St. Gregory Palamas: “Prayer without ceasing is necessary for all Christians”

Let no one think, my fellow Christians, that it is the duty only of priests and monks to pray
without ceasing, and not of laypeople.

No, no; it is the duty of all of us Christians to remain always in prayer.

At first it may appear very difficult to you, but be assured, that this very name of our Lord Jesus Christ, constantly invoked by you, will help you to overcome all difficulties, and in the course of time you will become used to this practice and will taste how sweet is the name of the Lord. Then you will learn by experience that this practice is not impossible and not difficult, but both possible and easy …

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Що відбувається на Службі Божі? Why go to church [Pt. 6]

Church5But what does it mean to “bring ourself”?

We bring ourselves symbolically—we are the gift that we bring to God during the Liturgy.
This means that we trust God with the things that are beyond our control, whatever challenges, problems, hardships, and so invite Him into all the various dimensions of our life.

This means that we surrender our struggle to control everything and say, “God, you may see things differently. I open my heart to you.”

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