UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Great and Holy Friday at St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, IL!
St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, IL was once again a spiritual place, to which hundreds of people came on Friday night to participate in the Vespers service, at which the Holy Shroud is brought out of the sanctuary and placed in the midst of the faithful for veneration.
On this holy day, the faithful commemorated the death of Christ on the Cross and His burial, with the spiritual father of the cathedral community and the ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA His Grace Bishop Daniel. The liturgical services of the day are the culmination of the observance of His Passion by which our Lord suffered and died for our sins. This commemoration begins on Thursday evening with the Matins of Holy Friday and concludes with a Vespers on Friday afternoon/evening that observes the veneration of the shroud.
The bishop led the Vespers service on Holy Friday, on which from the early years the Church observed an annual commemoration of the decisive and crucial three days of sacred history, i.e., Great Friday, Great Saturday and Pascha.
Great Friday and Saturday have been observed as days of deep sorrow and strict fast from Christian antiquity. Great Friday and Saturday direct our attention to the trial, crucifixion, death and burial of Christ. We are placed within the awesome mystery of the extreme humility of our suffering God. Therefore, these days are at once days of deep gloom as well as watchful expectation. The Author of life is at work transforming death into life: "Come, let us see our Life lying in the tomb, that he may give life to those that in their tombs lie dead" (Sticheron of Great Saturday Matins). Liturgically, the profound and awesome event of the death and burial of God in the flesh is marked by a particular kind of silence, i.e. by the absence of an Eucharistic celebration.
Bishop Daniel invited everyone to enter into the mystery of the tomb of Christ, putting our hopes and prayers at His feet, so that we can come out on Pascha morning and proclaim to the world that the Lord has Risen!
The bishop called upon the faithful “…to live their lives, following the example of selflessness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… The world is hungry and thirsty for the Light that comes from Christ; the Light that brings consolation to the world with economic difficulties and natural disasters. We need to allow the Light of Christ shine through us…”
Following the services at the cathedral, the bishop traveled to Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Palos Park, IL and Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Bensenville, IL to visit with the faithful and to venerate the shroud of Christ in each of the parochial temples.
Great and Holy Friday at St. Volodymyr UOCo in Chicago, IL! - 04/22/11