The Celebration of Nativity/Christmas Focuses on the Manifestation of Christ to the World!
Our Invitation to do so Continues, as Archbishop Daniel Celebrates Nativity of Christ at St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Bayonne, NJ
With the chiming of bells and chanting of the Nativity Carols, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel entered through the doors of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Bayonne, NJ for the celebration of the Glorious Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on January 6-7, 2020 (according to Julian Calendar).
The parish temple was prayerfully overwhelmed by the presence of the faithful of the Church who joined their spiritual father and hierarch for the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. Assisting the archbishop at the altar were Very Rev. Fr. Myroslav Schirta – pastor of the congregation and Rev. Fr. Vasyl Pasakas, pastor of the Nativity of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church in South Plainfield, NJ, as well as Deacon Yurii Bobko of the Three Holy Hierarchs Chapel of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary of the UOC of the USA.
In his homily, Vladyka Daniel exhorted the faithful to follow in the path of Christ and said that, "Things like Christmas trees, stars, carols give us happiness superficially, but we must celebrate Christmas meaningfully and feel it within us by following the teachings of Jesus Christ. Give space in your hearts, open the doors of your houses for others.” He added, “Remember - our Savior Jesus Christ gave us the message of love, brotherhood and peace. We must live together as God's children. Christ died for us, which indicates how much he loves us, and so we must love each other. We must make real Christ's message in our daily life, live like Him, follow Him and abolish any sense of social/moral/political discrimination between the children of God. We must treat everyone equally…”
He further said that "in this modern world we forget our duties, we do not get time to pray, we do not know who is our next door neighbor… We go to the church and go back home and sit inside our houses without helping the needy…”
While concluding the archbishop said, “Christmas is a time to spread joy, peace and harmony but how much joy we are spreading around us has to be introspected. Do not harden your heart, be more human and help the poor and the needy and celebrate a true Christmas”. The hierarch also wished everyone a very happy and peaceful new year.
Once the liturgical celebration concluded, the chanters of St. Sophia parish and the faithful in attendance prayerfully sang carols in Ukrainian, English and Romanian languages, while Archbishop Daniel, assisted by Fr. Myroslav Schirta and Fr. Vasyl Pasakas anointed the faithful and offered them prayerful greetings.
The early hours of Christmas afternoon arrived, yet the faithful remained at the parish hall of St. Sophia parish to proclaim the great feast of the Nativity to the world, by sharing with each other traditions of caroling and a festive luncheon.