AXIOS! WORTHY! ГІДНИЙ!
Archbishop Daniel Ordains Deacon Volodymyr Yavorskyi to the Holy Priesthood
On Saturday, 5th of May, 2018 - the feast of Venerable Vitaliy of Alexandria, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, eparchial hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, presided over a Hierarchical Liturgy (at St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Catehdral in New York City) that included the ordination of fourth–year M.Div. student of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary - Deacon Volodymyr Yavorskyi to the Holy Priesthood.
A common image of Christ throughout Christianity is that of the "Good Shepherd." Christ compared Himself to a shepherd and stated that, "I know my sheep and my sheep know me." As Orthodox Christians, we believe that the bishop of a diocese acts as a shepherd for the people. This is symbolized by the bishop's crozier (a staff that resembles a shepherd's staff). On May 5th, the faithful of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City, have been able to witness the shepherding actions of one of their bishop – Archbishop Daniel.
Many priests were also among numerous people in attendance as the archbishop ordained the 24-year old Deacon to the Holy Priesthood of the Church.
Despite his role as ordaining bishop, Archbishop Daniel made it clear in his homily that it was not he who was accomplishing the ordination. “No man, no human person can make priests,” he said, “the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit — and He alone — can make you priests.”
Archbishop Daniel also pointed out that the Deacon who was about to become priest was not without his weaknesses and shortcomings, “but through the laying on of hands, even those weaknesses — things they might even be embarrassed about — will be dedicated to the priesthood.” Vladyka mentioned to Deacon Volodymyr that he was about to be sent on a mission, as “minister of the new evangelization” and “servant of God’s people for the forgiveness of sins.” “Who of us doesn’t need to hear, day after day, an assurance of God’s mercy?” the archbishop asked.
Addressing the congregation, Vladyka said, “This is a great day of joy for all of us in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. This new priest is a blessing from God and a gift to our Church. His ministry will be vital to our Church because of the gifts and talents he brings to the ministry, as well as his ability to assist in serving the growing number of Orthodox Christians of Ukrainian descent in major Metropolitan areas of our great country."
Following the Great Entrance, Deacon Volodymyr Yavorskyi was brought forth to the Altar of the Lord, in order to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands of His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, thus ordaining the deacon to the Priesthood. The moment of solemn prayerful silence of the cathedral temple was interrupted by the profound words of a prayer, exclaimed by Vladyka Daniel: “The divine grace, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains the most devout Deacon Volodymyr to the office of Priest. Let us, therefore, pray for him, that the grace of the All-Holy Spirit may come upon him.”
Then, the words of various prayers and the joyful exclamation of AXIOS-WORTHY revealed to the faithful the newly ordained priest Volodymyr, who joined by his spouse Ginny, his gather-in-law Howard and parents and relatives from Ukraine via Live Facebook Feed, offered gratitude to the Lord for the Grace received through the prayers of his bishop.
In his address to he newly ordained priest and on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Archbishop Daniel stated: “…on this day of your priestly ordination, my dear spiritual son, our prayer for you is this: that filled with the Holy Spirit, you will carry out the ministry of Christ, the priest, with constant joy and with genuine love, attending not to your own concerns but to those of Jesus Christ as you preach His Gospel, shepherd his people and celebrate the Mysteries, especially absolving and teaching in His name."
At the end of the liturgy, the archbishop expressed gratitude for those who played a role in nurturing the vocation of the new priest: parents, relatives, Metropolitan Antony, faculty of St. Sophia Seminary, classmates, clergy and faithful of the Church.
Following the conclusion of Liturgy, the faithful of the cathedral parish family gathered together at the parish hall for a beautifully prepared luncheon.
The day's festivities ended with the words of Very Rev. Fr. Volodymyr Muzychka, the pastor of the cathedral parish community, thanking the archpastor for celebration of the most Holy Mystery of Eucharist, the guests for coming to celebrate with the parishioners, and all the guests and parishioners for their attendance and prayers.
Speaking on behalf of the student body of St. Sophia Seminary, Subdeacon Yuri Bobko greeted his classmate and newly-ordained. Thus all seminarians, approached and asked for a blessing from Fr. Volodymyr.
In conclusion, Fr. Volodymyr Yavorskyi offered his gratitude to those in attendance, especially to the hierarchs of the Church, his wife and parents, seminarians, etc. He concluded his remarks with the prayerful offering of himself in the life of Christ’s Church, stating that the day of his ordination - “is a new birthday for me…”
The parishioners were then able to spend some time speaking with the newly-ordained priest Volodymyr while receiving his blessing in the Name of Christ.
Deacon Volodymyr Yavorskyi Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 05/07/18
Photos by Seminarian Yaroslav Bilohan