At the end of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, His Eminence invited everyone for a group photo in front of the iconostasis, which was followed by a wonderful family meal in the parish social center. Joining in the meal were Rev. Mikhail Myshchuk, pastor of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Watervliet, NY his parish Deacon Thomas Gutch with their families and parishioners. Rev. Terenti Wasiliewski, pastor of St. Nicholas OCA church in Cohoes and his predecessor V. Rev. Roman Shak visiting from Ukraine, honored us with their presence. The social center was filled to near capacity with parishioners, guests and friends from all over the Upstate New York area.
A concert was presented under the direction of parish Choir Director Mikhail Tcapar, during which a trio sang traditional Ukrainian songs and the church choir sang Christmas carols. The Zorepad Ukrainian dance ensemble of the Capital Region, led by Lida Kulbida, entertained us with "hopak" dances in their brilliant embroidered costumes. Several children also recited poems and sang songs in honor of St. Nicholas, hoping that their studiousness with their teachers and parents would show to St. Nicholas that they were being good. At last with much anticipation, the moment the children were waiting for had arrived: St. Nicholas bearing gifts for them al, as well as for many guests among the people present. May we imitate St. Nicholas as he teaches us to bring joy to everyone and follow Christ faithfully.
Let us sing with joy, “In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. Hierarch Father Nicholas, entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved (Troparion). You revealed yourself, O saint, in Myra as a priest, for you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ by giving up your soul for your people, and saving the innocent from death. Therefore you are blessed as one become wise in the grace of God” (Kontakion).