Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church Online
Welcome to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church!
Do you love God and desire a deeper union in Him through Christ? Are you moved by the beauty of traditional architecture, iconography, and liturgy? Do you love to experience warm, family-friendly fellowship, to hear good music and Christ-centered preaching, to participate in enriching adult education and to offer the same to your children? If so, then "Come and See" us! We are a parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA under the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and our doors and hearts are open to you and your family! Our church follows the Julian (Old) Calendar. All Orthodox Christians are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Blessed Sacraments of Repentance and Eucharist.
We are located at 1301 Newport Avenue in Northampton, Pennsylvania.
DAILY LITURGICAL CALENDAR, SCRIPTURE READINGS AND MENAION
ELEVENTH WEEK AFTER PENTECOST
Sun. 20 Aug…FAST DAY: OIL
Orthodox Statement on Charlottesville
Blessed Independence Day!
Our country upholds the truth that ‘all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ There is no other land on earth that advances the virtues of liberty and freedom for all.
Our nation's Founding Fathers envisioned a country, which would possess its own uniqueness, governed by its people on the principles of fair and free democracy, with a future shaped by its own citizens, and laws that manifest the will of the people. We thank Almighty God for the many blessings He has showered upon our nation and for the relative peace and harmony we enjoy in this beloved country of ours. We are appreciative of the various developments that have been achieved for the progress of our nation. We thank the brave men and women who have fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy, and we ask God to protect those who are protecting us today.
As Americans, we generally understand, caring and charitable, as noticed by compassionate responses of our citizens to various natural, economic and political disasters throughout the world. However, our country is at a crossroads, and the Church is facing unprecedented challenges. We find ourselves in a position in which prayer and prayerful action are absolutely necessary to combat the rapid social, moral movements and policy changes currently underway in the modern world, our country and in our culture.
We call upon the faithful and all people of goodwill to play their rightful role in their duty as citizens and residents of this country. The Christian community, guided by the teachings and direction of the Church, are called to uphold spiritual and moral values as we live out our obligation to enhance peace and harmony in our society. Lawmakers and those who implement the law are urged to exercise their civil duties, with fear of God and respect for the human person.
Setting aside the challenges that currently face our nation, today we encourage the faithful of our Holy Church to focus on the humble appreciation we should have as Americans. Remember that our vast and remarkable nation began 241 years ago as a noble idea; planted like a seed by a brave group who believed in a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Over generations, we have fostered the growth of this idea and shaped its expansion. We have protected the concept of liberty, fought for it, and the loyal men and women of our Armed Forces have selflessly carried the torch of freedom to those whose lives have been darkened by tyranny.
As you enjoy celebrating the holiday, take a moment to reflect on the fact that God has truly blessed this land. As we celebrate America’s birthday, let us take the time to thank God Almighty for the blessings He has bestowed upon us.
As Ukrainian Americans and Orthodox Christians we celebrate this freedom. We recognize the blessings that freedom has provided to our families and ourselves as we live, work, and worship in this country. We also recognize the value of freedom in emphasizing our heritage and identity. We are free to share this cherished heritage in an environment that values freedom of expression and the open sharing of ideas and diversity.
We have much to offer from our historic heritage. As members of this society and as Orthodox Christians we know we are truly free when our pursuits and goals are not for ourselves but for the benefit and spiritual well-being of others and for the honor and glory of God.
Have a blessed, happy and safe Fourth of July weekend!
By the Grace of God Metropolitan of the UOC of the USA and Diaspora
By the Grace of God Archbishop of the UOC of the USA
Sunday of All Saints
On the second Sunday after Pentecost our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrates the Sunday of All Saints of Ukraine. Sadly, many of our parishes are witnessing a decline in Sunday worship and in membership. Our parishes are doing everything possible just to keep up with the monthly expenses. Is praying for the bills to be paid the main purpose for the Church? There is another purpose for the church – that purpose is to make people holy. A church that does not make it’s people holy is not a church, it is merely an organization which uses the word 'Church'. The Church celebrates the memory of the holy ones, the saints, to show us living examples of people whose souls were saved, so that we can imitate them in our lives. They teach us how to please God. Today is the Sunday of All Saints of Ukraine and we commemorate all of those men, women and children that are famously known to us and those who are known only to God.
What is a saint? First, we should understand that saints are not born, they are made. We are all born to potentially become saints. The only difference between ourselves who are not saints and the saints, is that they are people who are continually picking themselves up after sinning, continually repenting until they reach holiness, whereas we tend to give up. One type of saint is known as a martyr. The saintly martyrs desired to confess Jesus Christ rather than live, and in doing so, sacrificed everything for Christ. Today, on the Sunday of All Saints of Ukraine, we recognize those who became saints and martyrs in Ukraine and we honor them. At every Divine Liturgy and at Morning Prayers we sing and read the Creed, in which we confess that we believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. These words which define the Church, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, are also words that define the saints.
What exactly does this mean? The saints are One because they are all together and are united – also known as the communion of the saints. The saints are also holy – the word saint means holy. The saints are also Catholic. This word does not mean Roman Catholic – it means 'Catholic' in the original sense of the word. 'Catholic' means the same in all places and at all times. Therefore, on the Sunday of All Saints of Ukraine, we commemorate all the saints of all of Ukraine throughout all the centuries. We commemorate saints of all ages, of all men, women and children, the poor and the rich, the old and the young, the healthy and the sick. They all confessed the same Holy Orthodox Faith. Finally, the saints are Apostolic, for they share in the same Faith and Tradition as the Apostles.
All the Saints of Ukraine that are being remembered today followed the example of Jesus Christ. All of them in their time, in their circumstances of life, fulfilled God’s commandment of love of God and their fellow human being. For many, their times were difficult in Ukraine, maybe more difficult than ours here in the United States. Often their situations in life were more dangerous in spiritual terms, and often in worldly terms were worse than ours. But they still continued, struggled, and reached their reward in Paradise where they now triumph. All we need to do is look at the icons of our church and we will see them: martyrs, confessors, ascetics, fools for Christ, educated people, simple people, rich, poor, bishops, priests, monastics and lay people. This is the Heavenly Church and is all-inclusive. It includes us, the earthly, Militant Church. There is room for each of us there. There is a purpose for us to attend church. Are we being made saintly and holy?
Rev. Fr. Mark Swindle
+ B A R T H O L O M E W
By God’s Mercy Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church: May the Grace, Peace and Mercy of the Christ Risen in Glory be with you All
Beloved brothers and sisters, children in the risen Lord,
“In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16.33) is the reassurance of the Lord, who alone trampled upon death by death, to generations of men and women. “Christ is Risen!” is the cry that we, too, pronounce to all people far and wide from this Sacred See, which has experienced worldly crucifixion and tribulation; but it is also the See of resurrection inasmuch as it is from this corner of the planet, the City of Constantine, that we proclaim “the victory of life” that dispels every form of corruption and death itself.
During his earthly presence, the Lord frequently warned His disciples about the tribulation that would result from his sacrifice on the cross at Golgotha but also because of their ministry and life in this world – both their own as well as all those who believe in Christ. However, he also added a very significant detail: “You will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy . . . So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16.20-22)
This paschal and spiritual joy was first experienced by the Myrrh-bearing women, who came to the tomb of the life-giving Christ, with the Lord’s greeting in a single word: “Rejoice!” (Matt. 28.9) The same paschal joy is emphatically professed by the Mother Church of Constantinople today: “This is the day of the Lord; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 117.24) The final enemy, death, sorrow, our problems, corruption, tribulation, and trials: all of these are crushed and abolished by the victorious divine-human Lord.
However, we live in a world where the mass media of communication constantly transmit misfortunate news about terrorist attacks, local wars, destructive natural phenomena, problems of religious fanaticism, hunger, the refugee crisis, incurable diseases, poverty, psychological pressure, feelings of insecurity and other similarly undesirable conditions.
In the face of these daily “crosses,” which human beings endure with reluctance, our holy mother Orthodox Church comes to remind us that, as Christians, we can be glad because our leader Christ has proved victorious over them as the bearer of joy, who brings gladness to the whole universe.
Our joy is based on the conviction of Christ’s victory. We are completely assured that good has conquered all things, that Christ came to the world “and left us in order to be victorious.” (Rev. 6.2) The world that we shall eternally inhabit is Christ, who is light, truth, life, joy and peace.
Despite its daily crosses and sorrows, the great Mother Church of Christ exclusively and solely experiences this phenomenon of joy. It experiences – from and within this life – the heavenly kingdom. From this sacred center of Orthodoxy, from the bosom of this martyric Phanar, “on this effulgent night,” we proclaim that the extension and purpose of the cross and all tribulation, the resolution of all human pain and suffering, is the Lord’s reassurance: “I will not leave you as orphans.” (John 14.18-19) “Behold, I am with you all the days of your life, to the end of the ages.” (Matt. 28.20) This is the message that all of us should hear, that the contemporary world should hear in order to surrender to and discern Christ on the road to Emmaus. Indeed, Christ is beside us. And we shall see Him only if we hear and experience His word in our life.
This message – of the victory of life over death, of the triumph of the joyful light of the paschal candle over the darkness of disorder and dissolution – is announced to the whole world from the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the invitation to experience the unwaning light of the resurrection. We invite you all to stand with faith and hope before the risen Christ and before the mystery of life. We invite all of you to trust the risen Lord, the master of joy and delight, who holds the reigns of the entire creation.
Christ is risen, then, brothers and sisters!
May the grace and boundless mercy of the lord of life and master over death be with you all.
Phanar, Holy Pascha 2017
+Bartholomew of Constantinople
Your fervent supplicant to the risen Christ
Matters of Interest to our Orthodox Community
Theophany of Our Lord
The Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord is a major feast in Eastern Christianity, with only Pascha (Easter) and Pentecost considered greater on the liturgical calendar. The importance of Christ's baptism is described in the Gospels of apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and is the first manifestation of the Holy Trinity to mankind. Theophany comes from the Greek word "theophania," which means "appearance of God" or "manifestation of God." The V. Rev. Bazyl Zawierucha, Rector of ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH , Northampton, celebrated the feast day Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m. ProtoDeacon Dc. Mychail Sawarynski assisted at the services. An important part of the feast is the blessing of holy water called "Jordan Water," which signifies Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River. "Our Heavenly Father Himself, with His mighty voice and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, said of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, with these words, 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.' God said these words while Jesus was standing in the Jordan River. And most of the people who gathered on the banks of the Jordan to hear the sermons of St. John the Baptist heard and observed this unique presentation, thus making this feast the first feast in the Christian church before Christmas was introduced as a separate feast, according to St. John Chrysostom." At that time, St. John the Baptist referred the people to receive the Son of God. Today the church does it, "Through baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we become the children of God and heirs of the heavenly kingdom. Only Holy Baptism can liberate us from the bondage of Original Sin, and the holy water possesses the power that washes away the evil." In addition to Jesus' baptism, Theophany traditionally included the Nativity, the wedding feast at Cana, the visit by the Magi and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple as a child, all of which indicate in some way the manifestation of God on Earth. Father Bazyl conducted the "Great Blessing of Jordan Water" service near the end of the Divine Liturgy. The large font had been placed before the iconostasis and filled with water for the blessing. Three parishioners – John Hnatow Jr, Michael Hnatow, and Nicholas Parchomenko - each held one of three trikiri, which is three candles joined together. Each trikiri was lit and after reading prayers and scripture, Father Bazyl took each trikiri, one at a time, made the sign of the cross with them over the water three times, and then immersed the lighted ends into the water. The extinguished candles were handed back to the candle bearers. After another prayer, Father Bazyl leaned over the font and blew upon the water three times in the form of a cross. He later immersed his hand into the water three times, after which he made the sign of the cross with an ornate cross, held the cross above his head with both hands and then plunged it into the water three times. When the blessing was completed, Father Bazyl dipped a glass into the water font and then drank three sips of the Jordan Water. He then walked through the church to bless the congregation with the holy water. As the service ended, the faithful walked to the front of the church, kissed the cross and were anointed with holy oil, and went to the baptismal font with containers to take some blessed water home. In some cases, people drank some water as they left the church, a common tradition, as is getting some of the candle wax floating the font in their containers.
Read about the triumph of Orthodoxy by Fr. Silouan Rolando HERE.
From the Department of Christian Education of the Orthodox Church in America:
On Sunday, September 30, we celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of our parish and church, and we greeted in our midst our Spiritual Father and Hierarch, His Eminence The Most Reverend Archbishop, Locum-Tenens and Acting Metropolitan, Ruling Hierarch of the Eastern Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, ANTONY! See Pictures Tab for photos at our DIvine Liturgy and the Banquet at St Peter and Paul's Fellowship Hall!
2) Pictures from the Paschal Service 2013
4) Photos of the Holy Supper on the Eve of the Nativity in the AVM Church Hall
5) 90th Anniversary Liturgy and Banquet
6) His Emminence Archbishop Antony's Heirarchical Service at our church on 9/25/2011
7) Pre-Sanctified Liturgy photos from 2012
8) Wine Event fund-raiser
9) Miscellaneous pictures
From the archives! Listen to original recordings of The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom performed by the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church Choir. Go to the Tab on the left labeled The Divine Liturgy .