Celebration of the Feast Day at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church in South Bound Brook, NJ
On December 11, 2016 the parish family of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church celebrated its annual Feast Day of St. Andrew, the First-Called to the Apostles and the Founder of Christ’s Church in Ukraine. It was, as always, a most spiritual day, on which many guests joined with the family to welcome His Eminence Archbishop-elect Daniel and, most importantly, to offer sincere gratitude to God Almighty for another year of abundant blessings upon us all.
The arrival of Vladyka Daniel was excitedly anticipated by our young children from St. Andrew Ukrainian School with bouquets of flowers. Starosta, Dmytro Kozluk and St. Pokrova Sisterhood president Pani Dobrodiyka Lesya Siwko greeted the Archbishop-elect with the traditional bread and salt on behalf of the parish and the faithful. Fr. Yurii Siwko, concluded the welcoming greetings, stating “… Vladyka Daniel, we welcome you to our parish family and asking your prayers for us, for all the Christians around the world and for suffering ancestral homeland Ukraine!”
Serving along with Archbishop-elect and Fr. Yurii Siwko were visiting priests: Fr. Ivan Lyshyk, Fr. Vitaliy Pavlykivsky, Fr. Myroslav Turchak, Fr. Vasyl Pasakas, Fr. Vasyl Shak. St. Andrew Choir was singing the responces under the leadership of Dr. Michael Andrec. Serving in the Altar with the Vladyka Daniel were Altar Servers, Seminarians and Subdeacons Mykola Zomchak, Mykaylo Bokalo and Ivan Tchopko from Brazil who was ordained to the Holy Deaconate during the Liturgy.
Trembling in the fear of God and with tears in his eyes, after the Anaphora, subdeacon Ivan was taken to the center of the Church. After intoned “Command” subdeacon Ivan was brought forth to the Royal Doors and made a full prostration before the Holy Altar, where serving clergy presented him as a worthy candidate in front of His Eminence Archbishop-elect Daniel. With the laying of his hands Vladyka passed the Grace of the Holy Spirit through the Apostolic Succession. The new deacon than was vested, as the clergy and the people proclaimed: Axios! He is Worthy!
The Liturgy concluded with the prayerful chanting of Mnohaya Lita to the hierarchs, clergy, newly ordained deacon and the faithful of the Church. Also Archbishop-elect Daniel presented a Hramota to Deacon Ivan Tchopko on the day of his ordination. During the veneration of the cross given by Fr. Yurii Siwko all the parishioners in the church had a chance to greet Deacon Ivan, who stood next to the priest, with his Deaconate. The commemorative picture was taken as well.
Following the Liturgy at the Sisterhood Hall, a delicious Dinner awaited all present, having been prepared by the sisterhood under the leadership of Dobrodiyka Lesya Siwko. Also, once again, our children from St. Andrew Ukrainian School performed at the stage letting everyone know about the upcoming great feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, by singing the Christmas carols. All who were present at the celebration of the Feast of St. Andrew the First-Called enjoyed the Divine Liturgy, the reception and the concert given by the children. Leaving the Sisterhood Hall all the parishioners walked up to His Eminence Archbishop-elect Daniel to get the blessing of our hierarch.
Parish Feast Day Celebration in South Bound Brook, NJ - 12/11/16
Text by Rev. Fr. Vasyl Shak
Photos by the Seminarians of St. Sophia Seminary