UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts Served by His Grace Bishop Daniel at Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in Youngstown, OH
On March 18, 2016 the Friday of the First Week of Great Lent, His Grace Bishop Daniel served the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Youngstown, OH. The Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA was warmly welcomed at the door to the parish’s temple by the President of the Parish’s Board of Administration Joseph and his wife Betty Ewanish. The pastor of the local Ukrainian Orthodox parish family - Fr. John Harvey, assisted by Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Gall of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Sharon, PA likewise welcomed the bishop and presented the holy water and cross.
The solemn Lenten Divine Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts was concelebrated by Bishop Daniel and two priests in attendance, while about 80 people of those present for the service prepared themselves and received the Holy Eucharist from the hands of their spiritual father.
The entire Liturgy was the highlight of this archpastoral visit prior to the Lenten Retreat sponsored by the Ukrainian Orthodox League. The parish choir, under the direction of Fr. Gregory Becker, prayerfully chanter the responses to the archpastoral service.
After the Prayer Behind the Ambo, Bishop Daniel delivered a moving sermon, reflecting on the importance of Lenten journey and calling upon those in attendance to always be mindful of the great verse/phrase from the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, have mercy on me…” Further in his lesson, Bishop Daniel spoke about the majesty of Christ’s Pascha, noting how it must be met with a pure heart, one that is not burdened with passionate desires and the vanities of this life. Herein is opened for us the spiritual significance of Great Lent, whose true value is reflected in the need to cleanse our senses and minds through abstinence.
In conclusion of the service, being first time together this year with the parish’s congregation for the Lenten journey, Vladyka Daniel exchanged a kiss of peace with each person in attendance, asking for their forgiveness, as we all ought to offer it in this sacred season.
After the Liturgy, the clergy and faithful, along with the numerous guests in attendance, continued their interaction with His Grace in the parochial refectory, which generously provided all with a simple, Lenten, and delicious home-cooked meal, prepared by the entire membership of the parish family.