Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Transfiguration

УКРАЇНСЬКA КАТОЛИЦЬКA ЦЕРКВА ПРЕОБРАЖЕННЯ ГОСПОДНЬОГО


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The Church—The Gathering Place|Церква – місце спілкування


ChurchEaster2017(Interview with Fr. Oleh Kindiy, Professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv – continued)

Many people we interviewed replied that they believe in God but they don’t need a “middle man”. Others go to church when it’s empty. Still others attend for certain “rituals”: baptisms, weddings, or funerals. The majority generally don’t consider Church as community.

This is because, for instance, we teach catechism to children but only rarely in parishes do we have catechetical programs for adults. The Early Christians knew well that Church was a place to continuously deepen our faith, but we today have yet to recognize this. In terms of knowing God, there are no boundaries. On the other hand, at times people demand something from the Church, but when they are invited to, for example, a Parish Bible study, or a group to discover the beauty of the Byzantine Liturgy, they won’t take that next step; few respond to the additional offerings of their church.

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The Church—The Gathering Place | Церква – місце спілкування

ChurchEaster2017The following is from an interview with Fr. Oleh Kindiy, Professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv

People who attend Church don’t always consider themselves a part of a community. It’s easier for them to think of the Church as the priest or choir, ie: something beyond themselves. Doesn’t this remove personal responsibility?

I often ask people what percentage of the Church is made up by the clergy: priests, monks, bishops etc. The answer is between 30-50%, suggesting that lay people are only a segment of the Church that is primarily constituted by clergy. They are surprised when I tell them that clergy make up less than 1% of the Church. Lay people do not realize that they are the majority; they expect the priest to do everything: gather people and assign jobs for each to accomplish.

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Why go to church? [Pt. 11] Що відбувається на Службі Божі?

Communion imageSometimes people say their own prayers during Liturgy …
These people aren’t feeling their role in the community event that is Liturgy. They simply have not grasped what is taking place at the Liturgy and naturally they would want to spend that time doing something that is spiritually engaging …

What is the meaning of other Services in our Church, besides the Divine Liturgy?
In our rite, we have a great number and variety of services. Each has its own worth. Too often, we make the mistake of measuring other liturgies as “less than” the Divine Liturgy.

Each liturgy is a glorification of God. We sing various biblical texts, hymns, chants—thus achieving the pinnacle of human ability; the celebration of God.

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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. 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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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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Sorokousty/Сорокоусти

During Great Lent we are called to renew and strengthen our relationships with others (both living and dead) and
with God. A special service during Lent is Sorokousty, when we remember all those who have gone before us.

“Sorokousty” literally means “forty mouths”, referring to an ancient monastic practice of 40 monks or priests
singing this commemoration of our departed sisters and brothers.

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Що відбувається на Службі Божі? Why go to church [Pt. 4]

Why should we attend Divine Liturgy?

When people gather together for Liturgy, participate in it, receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ—they
become the Body of Christ—the Church. Thanks to the Liturgy we can understand that the Church isn’t a religious organization, a system of opinions or a creed. It is the body of Christ, a collective of people united by communion in Christ and through Christ.

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Why go to Church?

church-photoIn the upcoming weeks we will be turning our attention to the Divine Liturgy. In the bulletin we will be excerpting articles which help explain this central liturgical event.

The articles come from the magazine KANA (Dec., 2016) and offer us various perspectives. If you have your own questions about the Divine Liturgy, please send an email to Fr. Myroslaw and we will try and answer them in an upcoming bulletin.

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Sunday of Zacchaeus

zacchaeusZacchaeus was a sinner, a tax collector, and an outcast. He was the person we don’t want to have anything to do with. Yet, he is the person that Christ sees and wants to visit!

We begin our preparation for Great Lent with this wonderful story. Christ visits the home of Zacchaeus not because Zacchaeus or we are deserving, but rather because God desires to be with us, to share our lives.
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