Consecration of Antimins in St. Sophia Seminary Chapel of the Three Holy Hierarchs – St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Basil the Great
Consecration of Antimins in St. Sophia Seminary Chapel of the Three Holy Hierarchs – St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Basil the Great

Відбулося Освячення Нових Антимінсів УПЦ США

The consecration of the “Antimins” – meaning “In place of the Table” is an important responsibility for Orthodox Hierarchs in serving the needs of their parish communities and the faithful souls who worship in them.  The Antimins is a silk or linen cloth depicting the removal of our Lord’s Body from the Holy Cross upon which He offered Himself for our salvation and preparation for His burial wrapping Him in the Holy Shroud. It is one the most important liturgical necessities without which the Divine Liturgy cannot be celebrated. 

Usually depicted on the Antimins are at least the Mother of God, Joseph of Arimethea (who was a member of the Jewish Ruling Council – the Sanhedrin and a follower of Christ who offered his own grave for the burial of our Lord’s Body) and the Four Evangelists, who in their Gospels relate the Life of Christ and the meaning of His Passion and Resurrection for all faithful souls. It also bears the inscription of the Tropar we sing during Holy Friday Vespers and Burial – “The noble Joseph, taking down Your most pure Body from the Tree, wrapped it in fine linen and spices, and laid it in a New Tomb.”Each Antimins has a relic of a Holy Martyr sewn into a small pocket on the back of the cloth, beneath where the Holy Chalice and Diskos will stand during the Eucharistic Canon of the Liturgy and the Communion of the clergy and faithful worshipping in the Liturgy.  The Church is built upon the faith of the Holy Martyrs and the presence of their relics provides a firm foundation for the continued faith of all clergy and faithful who worship with them.

 

The consecration of the Antimins is a ritual that is seldomly served in the lives of hierarchs themselves and the clergy and faithful under their jurisdiction because there are normally a significant number consecrated at once – each individually – which will serve the needs of our Church for at least a few decades.  His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel conducted this ritual on the Patronal Feast Day of the Three Holy Hierarchs Chapel in St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary – 12 February.  The Holy Martyrs placed in the 80 newly consecrated Antimins during this consecration were presented to our hierarchs by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew:  Five youths of Constantinople – Emmanuel, George, Michael, Theodore and George who were from Christian families in the early 19thcentury but forced to abandon their faith and families and convert to Islam by the Turks.  They were sold into slavery but never forgot who they were and when they were able to escape, they returned to their homes and recommitted their lives to Christ.  They were discovered and their return to Christ subjected them to horrific torture, but they remained firm in their faith.  They were martyred in April of 1835 and they are commemorated each year on the first Sunday after Pascha – St. Thomas Sunday.  May they fervently pray for the souls of all who worship in their presence in our parish churches where their Antimins are placed. 

The Antimins, along with Holy Chrism, wherever they may be placed belong to the hierarch who provides them and upon which his signature appears, along with that of the Prime Hierarch of our Church.  They serve as the “Charter” authorizing the priests and faithful who comprise a given parish to conduct liturgical life as Ukrainian Orthodox parishes.  If an Antimins or Holy Chrism is recalled, such authority is lost.

Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel express their deep gratitude to the clergy and seminarians present and who assisted with the consecration of our Antimins – Rev. Frs. Yuriy Siwko, Stephen Hutnick, Stephen Motychak, Vitalij Pavlykivskyj, Vasyl Pasakas, Vasyl Dovhan, Vasyl Shak, Sviatoslav Hot and Deacon Myroslav Mykytyuk.  In particular, they thank Fr. Dovhan, who brought his sewing machine all the way from his parish of St. Nicholas in Troy, NY to implant the relics in the Antimins.

New Antymins Consecrated for the UOC of the USA

Photos by Subdeacon Yaroslav Bilohan

(31 images)


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