Sunday After the Nativity of Our Lord

December 27, 2009

He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.” (Matthew 2:23)

Христос Раждається! –
Славіте Його!
Khri-stos razh da-yet-sya! –
Sla-vi-te Ye-ho!

On December 20, 386 or 388, St. John Chrysostom in a sermon on the anniversary of the death of the Martyr, Philogonius, Bishop of Antioch, announced to his faithful that in this year for the first time Antioch will be celebrating the feast of the Nativity of our Lord on the 25th of December, independently of the feast of the Theophany. He also added that this feast “can without mistake be called the mother of all the feasts”, for, “from it,” he goes on to say, “the Theophany, the holy Pasch, the Ascension and the Pentecost have their origin and foundation. If Christ had not been born in the flesh, neither could he have been baptized, and we would not have Theophany; had he not been crucified – we would not have the Pasch; had he not sent the Holy Spirit – we would not have the Pentecost. Thus, from the Nativity of Christ, all the other feasts flow like different streams from the same source. This feast justly occupies first place not only because of this, but also because the event which this day commemorates is, of all events, the most worthy of wonder.”
Truly, Christ’s Nativity is the most significant event in the history of the human race. This event inaugurated the Christian Era and became the point of reference from which we date the events of world history. (Julian J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year)

Synaxis of the Blessed Virgin Mary – December 26th
Synaxis in the Easter Rite calendar is the name of certain feasts immediately following a major feast. It commemorates persons connected with the feast celebrated on the previous day.
The Synaxis of the Blessed Virgin Mary was introduced by the Eastern Church to draw the attention of the faithful to Christ’s Mother Mary and St. Joseph who were the Savior’s earthly mother and guardian.
According to some liturgists this feast reminds us of the escape of the Holy Family to Egypt whereby the Divine Infant was saved from the massacre of the innocent Children ordered by Herod after the departure of the wise men from Christ.

Feast of Saint Stephen – December 27th
Saint Stephen was one of the seven deacons ordained by the Apostles to take care of the material needs of the Christian widows and orphans. Besides, Stephen was a great preacher of Christ’s Gospel. He preached Christ to the very people who had crucified the Lord. His zeal aroused the anger and jealousy of the Jewish leaders. They led him outside the walls of Jerusalem and Stoned him to death.
Saint Stephen was the first to shed his blood for Christ, and hence he is known as the Protomartyr. In dying, he forgave his murderers and prayed for them. The feast of St. Stephen was introduced in the fourth century.

Circumcision of Our Lord – January 1st
The next important event in the life of Jesus Christ, following the feast of the Nativity of Christ, is the event of the circumcision and naming of the Lord. The Holy Gospel relates: “And when the eight days were fulfilled for his circumcision, his name was called Jesus, given Him by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2,21) Jesus Christ, being God and the Lawgiver, was not obligated to observe the religious prescriptions of the Jews; nonetheless, he willingly submitted to and observed them. Hence, on the eighth day after his birth he submitted to the rite of circumcision. We celebrate this event on the first of January. (Julian J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year)

Feast of Saint Basil the Great – January 1st
On the first of January, the beginning of the civil year, our church celebrates the memory of the death of one of the greatest and most outstanding Fathers of the Church and doctors of the faith and of monastic legislators – St. Basil the Great… His person is in every respect extraordinary, noble, illustrious and worthy of praise. He was not only an aristocrat by birth, but also an aristocrat in spirit, character, learning and holiness. The mark of his deep faith, heroic love of God and neighbor, learning and holiness is stamped on the entire Church of Christ, on the monastic life in the East and on our people. (Julian J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year)

Synaxis of the Mother of God
Sat. Dec. 26 – 4:00 p.m. †Mary Endrich Mudrak – Mary Anne Mudrak
Feast of Saint Stephen
Sun. Dec. 27 – 8:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy – God’s Blessing for Parishioners
Mon. Dec. 28 – NO SERVICES
Tues. Dec. 29 – NO SERVICES
Wed. Dec. 30 – NO SERVICES
Circumcision of Our Lord / Feast of Saint Basil the Great (Solemn Feast)
Thurs. Dec. 31 – 6:30 p.m. Divine Liturgy, Myrovania, †David John Findora – Anna Findora
Fri. Jan. 1 – NO SERVICES
Sat. Jan. 2 – 4:00 p.m. †George Mudrak – Mary Anne Mudrak
Sun. Jan. 3 – 8:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy – God’s Blessing for Parishioners
Divine Liturgies for St. Vladimir (Edwardsville)
Saturday 6:00 p.m. English – Sunday 10:30 a.m. Slavonic

We Greet You with the Holy Birth of Christ, Wishing that you spend these holidays in Good Health, peace and happiness May God grant you life to the New Year; From the New Year to the Epiphany; From the Epiphany to the Resurrection; From the Resurrection to the Ascension; From the Ascension to the Pentecost; From the Pentecost to a hundred years Until God wills your life! Christ is Born! – Glorify Him!
LITURGY REQUESTS – We ask that if you have dates on which you would like a liturgy offered that you make those requests as early as possible. Request for liturgy dates will be assigned in the order in which they are received. Contact the rectory office to make your requests.
STAYING IN TOUCH – If there is anyone who is regularly unable to attend liturgy but would like to keep in touch with what’s going on in the parish, please contact the rectory office about receiving a copy of the bulletin through the mail.
BLESSING OF HOMES – For the parishioners this will be taking place, weather permitting after the Feast of the Epiphany. Father Orest will see those who are home-bound first, making a pastoral visit with the Holy Sacrament and blessing their homes. Please call Father Orest at the rectory to make arrangements to have your home blessed as well.
BIRTHDAY GREETINGS – Birthday Greetings to Maria Revak (1/2). May God grant her long life, good health and happiness. MNOHAYA BLAHAYA LITA!
OUR THANKS – Our thanks to those who made time in their busy schedules to help decorate and prepare our church for all to enjoy the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord.
FLOWERS DECORATE OUR CHURCH – Our thanks to everyone who made donations for the flowers that adorn our Church this Christmas Season.
THANK YOU – The children and teachers of the religious education program wish to thank all those who helped with their pyrohy project and their Holy Supper last weekend
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION – Religious Education Classes will be on Winter Break. Classes will resume again in February 13, 2010.
PARISH SIGN DONATIONS – Plans are being finalized for our new parish sign. The sign will be roughly 2 feet by 5 feet, double sided and installed in front of the church. Renderings of the sign are posted on the bulletin board in the back of the church. Our thanks to Joe and Helen Thomas for their donation of $10 for the sign. If you’d like to make a donation to help defray the cost, please place your donation with the collection using a Supplemental Envelope from the back of the Church and label it “Parish Sign”.
RUMMAGE SALE – Our Annual Rummage Sale will be held in March 2010. Items are now being accepted. Please bring your sellable items to the school hall before or after liturgies.
ANNUAL VOTIVE CANDLES – Our thanks to Rita Katulka and Mike and Joan Labuda for their $100 donations for Annual Votive Candles for 2010. Donations are now being accepted for Annual Votive Candles. If you wish to donate to defray the cost for a votive candle for 2010 please contact the rectory.
2010 ENVELOPES – The church envelopes for 2010 are available in the lower level of the church. Please take a moment to pick-up your envelopes. We apologize for any errors that may have been made regarding the list for envelopes. If you were omitted please contact the parish office.
CALENDARS AVAILABLE – Calendars for 2010 are available in the lower level of the church. Please pick up your copy before or after liturgy. Our thanks to Simon S. Russin Funeral Home, Inc. for sponsoring the calendar again this year.
GIVING FOR 2009 – With only a few days left in 2009, there is limited time to make your donations for this fiscal year, and to make sure that your dues have been paid. Please take this opportunity to bring your dues and yearly giving up to date either by dropping an envelope in with the collection or by mailing them directly to the rectory office.
RENOVATION FUND – Should you wish to make a contribution to this fund please use the “Special Collection for Renovations to the Church Complex” envelopes that are available in the back of the church.
PETITION ADDED – Have you noticed? One of the resolutions of the recently held Synod of Ukrainian Catholic Bishops was to add a petition of prayer for religious and consecrated life. The needs of religious and consecrated life of our Ukrainian Catholic Church will be the topic of the next Sobor of the entire Ukrainian Catholic Church to be held in Brazil in September, 2011. We are asked to pray for them in a special way in this time of preparation for that Sobor. Metropolitan Stefan Soroka has asked that the following petition be added to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy throughout 2010 and until the Sobor in September, 2011, as per instruction of our Patriarch Lubomyr Cardinal Husar issued on December 16th, 2009. “For our communities of consecrated life including monasteries and institutes of consecrated life, and for vocations to consecrated life, let us pray to the Lord”.
PRAYERS NEEDED – We are asked to keep in our prayers Metropolitan Stefan for his health and recovery of his prostate cancer. A decision will be made soon as to the course of action to be taken.
Also please keep in our prayers Metropolitan Basil Schott of Pittsburgh who has cancer in the lymph nodes. He has been taking treatments already and is awaiting a prognosis. And last, please keep in our prayers Fr. Leonard Sinatra, who has been in the hospital. He is failing and his family will be making decisions for him also.
CEMETERY RULES & REGULATIONS – Out of respect for all parish families and their deceased members, these rules and regulations were designed for the uniform appearance, ease of maintenance, safety, and cleanliness of our cemetery. Please give your full co-operation.
All decorations, including unplanted and artificial flowers, must be removed before March 31 or be subject to removal. Christmas decorations must be removed by January 31. All stone, metal, and other borders around monuments or memorials are prohibited. Only low borders, one inch above ground level, are permitted in front of hillside graves in order to prevent erosion. No shrub or tree planting is allowed. Loose stone and / or gravel are prohibited on any grave plot. Persons causing any damage to cemetery property will be liable. No dumping on the cemetery grounds or beyond the perimeter. No walking pets through the cemetery. No trespassing on cemetery property after hours. Cemetery hours are 7:00 AM to sundown. These Rules Effective Immediately.
CONCERT/SING-ALONG – The Holy Year Choir of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Hanover Section of Nanticoke will present it’s Christmas Concert and Sing-Along on Monday, December 28 at 7:00 PM, at the church on Center Street.  The choir is directed by Dr. Richard Barno.  A complimentary buffet will follow.  Please plan on attending and bring a friend!
CATHEDRAL CAROLS – Annual Festival of Christmas Carols will be held on Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia. Choirs from different parishes will participate. Everyone is welcome.
MALANKA 2010 – The 6th Annual Ukrainian New Year Dinner Dance – MALANKA – will take place on Friday evening, January 15, 2010, 6:00pm to 1:00am at St. Vladimir Parish Center, 428 North Seventh Avenue, Scranton. Michael Trusz and Kathleen Izak are serving as chairman and cochairman respectively. Tickets are $40 and can be obtained by calling Dr. Michael Labuda at 820-7105. Dinner buffet will include borchsh, holubchi, chicken Kyiv, kobasa, pyrohy and more, along with a cash bar. Dancing to the internationally known orchestra Fata Morgana and a late night champagne toast are also included.
ICONOSTAS TO BE BLESSED – On Sunday, January 31, 2010, The Presentation of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church community will mark the completion of extensive interior renovations to its church building located at 1564 Allentown Road, Lansdale, PA. The blessing and dedication will take place during a Pontifical Divine Liturgy that the spiritual leader of all Ukrainian Catholics in America, Archbishop Metropolitan Stefan Soroka, will celebrate at 11:00 A.M. in the church. Rev. Vasil Bunik, the pastor, and other priests of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, will concelebrate the services. Presentation Church’s pastor, Father Vasil Bunik, extends a cordial invitation to everyone to attend the Liturgy and the banquet. Tickets for the banquet are only $25 per adult and $10 for children under 12. The Church will be open during the time of the banquet for a view of the interior. For further information or to order tickets, call Mike at (215) 715 – 4871 (evenings), send an email to
125 YEARS – TRANSFIGURATION CHURCH SHAMOKIN – Transfiguration of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church of Shamokin, is celebrating its 125th anniversary on Aapril 25, 2010. To celebrate this historic event, they will be publishing a DVD. This DVD will detail the rich history of the parish and its founders. To be part of this DVD, please consider placing an ad, which could be a congratulatory or memorial wish for the parish. The deadline for ad submission is February 1, 2010. For further information please call; Mary Ann Charnosky, Adt Manager at (570) 648-7155.
SLOATSBURG JUBILEES – During the next two years the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate will be celebrating two milestones in their history, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the American Province, under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception and 75 years of ministry in the United States. As part of these celebrations the Sisters are embarking on a project to build a shrine to Blessed Josaphata (their foundress) on the grounds of their home in Sloatsburg. The small chapel will be a place of prayer, open year round, where people could come to light candles and pray to Blessed Josaphata for her intercession before God. Memorial Pavers for the walkway leading to the chapel will be sold to help defray the costs of the construction. Forms to sponsor those pavers are also available in the back of the church. Construction is well underway and paver space is limited, so get your form in soon.

Merry Christmas
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Christos Razhdajetsia! Slavite Jeho!
Thank You for your
thoughtfulness during the year.
Rev. Orest Kunderevych

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