Divine Liturgy

Times

Sunday 9:30 A.M. (Sung in English)
11:00 A.M.  (Sung in Ukrainian)
Feast Days 9:30 A.M.
6:00 P.M.  (Only on Major Feast Days)
Weekdays 7:30 A.M.
Saturdays 5:00 P.M.  (Bilingual)

The following may help you to better understand and participate in our Liturgy:

THE BELIEVER AT PRAYER:

Owing to the fact that in His Holy Incarnation, our Lord Jesus Christ, while fully God, took on our entire human nature, worship in the Eastern Christian tradition involves the entire person so that all of our faculties and senses may enter into prayer and experience the presence of God. This explains our use of aesthetic stimuli such as music, fragrance, color and other sensory events. The impression created by the beauty of these experiences elevates our worship to a foretaste of the Kingdom of God, mysteriously present among us now and awaiting its definitive and complete revelation at the end of time. The earthly liturgy thereby reflects the heavenly liturgy described in the Letter to the Hebrews, the Book of Revelation, and elsewhere in the Scriptures.

THE ICONOSTAS:

This large screen, symbolizing the veil of the Temple in the Old Testament, conceals the sanctuary but is fitted with doors that open during the service, and with sacred images or icons’, which also appear elsewhere in the church. Thus, it simultaneously reveals the mysterious presence of the Kingdom of Heaven. The content and the design of these images, and the materials and methods used in their production, are drawn from the Scriptures, the liturgy, the lives of the saints, and the whole of Christian Tradition. They express both the events and the profound spiritual meaning of our Salvation. Their arrangement is determined by the liturgical life of the Church, in which they have an essential role. Therefore, they are divinely revealed images, which we understand not as art, but as faith, theology and prayer in living color. They are expressions of the presence of Christ, the preeminent and perfect image of the Father, who appeared and was seen in the flesh, and they invite us to glimpse a spiritual vision of the Kingdom, and to enter into that sacred reality.

FACING THE EAST IN PRAYER:

This ancient Christian posture was adopted by the early Church because of the significance of the rising sun as a symbol of the Resurrection. Ancient Christians also expected the glorious return of Christ to begin from the East. This is why the priest faces the altar rather than the congregation during our Liturgy. As the leader of the community gathered in prayer, he, like us, faces the East, the symbol of our hope, and lifts up our prayers, as we await the coming of the One who ‘makes all things new’.

SINGING:

Our Liturgy generally is sung as a sign of our joyfulness in God’s presence. Musical instruments are avoided so that the beauty of the human voice lifted in prayer is not hampered.

HOLY COMMUNION:

Since the Eucharist can only be properly received by those in communion with the Catholic Church, we emphasize proper preparation for receiving the sacrament through prayer, fasting (a fast of one hour is strictly called for), examination of conscience, as well as Confession, if required. When receiving, please come forward and quietly state your first name. Open your mouth wide and tilt your head back slightly. Please do not extend your tongue nor say “Amen”. The priest will gently place the Eucharist into your mouth with the spoon. Wait until he withdraws his hand, then return to your place. At this point one should always offer thanks for the gift of Holy Communion. There are some beautiful prayers of thanksgiving in the pewbooks used for Divine Liturgy (pp. 80 – 87). These can also provide wonderful inspiration for re-flection and prayer when preparing for Holy Communion. ‘Thanksgiving’, the very meaning of the word ‘eucharist’, should continue not only in the formal prayers we say following our reception of the sacrament, but also in the manner in which we live our lives. Since, in the Divine Eucharist, we receive the Risen Lord Himself, uniting ourselves to Him, we are called to truly be His living presence in the world.

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