Baptismal Liturgy and installation of a new priest to St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Parish
On September 29th His Eminence Archbishop Antony visited his parish in Johnson City, NY to install Fr. Ivan Synevskyy as a new priest in St. John's the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Johnson City, NY. The day began with Baptismal Liturgy. Besides the installation there was a baptism of two-month old baby Sophia Synevskyy and Parish Family Celebration. The baby Sophia was calm and quiet for most of the service and at the end showed her voice.
The President of Parish Council Stephan Wasylko and Molly Hatala, the President of Jr. UOL Chapter, greeted Archbishop Antony with bread and flowers. Deacon Vasyl Dovgan together with his wife Ilona and other seminarians: Subdn. Andriy and Nadia Matlak, Subdn. Philip and family, Subdn. Adrian and Ioan Mazur, Subdn. Ivan Chopko came for the triple celebration.
Regular Saturday turned into a feast day. The reason is very simple one: all came together to celebrate and to partake in Holy Communion as one Body of Christ. All together: Archbishop, priest, deacon and the people – one community participates in the sacraments of the Church.
Baptismal Liturgy restores the original meaning of the sacraments – the sacraments are celebrations of a community of Christ and not a private or personal event. All the sacraments used to be done in (with) the Divine Liturgy. A newly Baptized and Chrismated person is brought to the Church – the Body of Christ.
For most of the people present the Baptismal Liturgy was the first time but it made the day joyous. The service itself is half an hour longer than the usual Divine Liturgy. Over a hundred people were present and the Church Choir directed by Melodye Onysko sang beautifully.
After the Baptismal Liturgy His Eminence Archbishop Antony did a very short installation service and emphasized on a priest's responsibility to serve the parish. A priest is called to make sacrifices for his people in need and lead the community in strong faith with great love. Vladyka presented Fr. Ivan with the keys to the church and prayed for a long lasting service to this parish.