Palm Sunday

March 28, 2010

…they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel.” John 12:13

Palm Sunday
“Our Lord Jesus Christ climaxed His mission on earth with two memorable events – the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead and His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. These two events, witnessed by great crowds of people, gave a clear and convincing testimony concerning the messianic mission of Christ and His divinity.” Julian J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year

Loza b’ye,
ya ne b’yu,
vid nyni za tyzhden’,
bude Velykden’

The willow is hitting,
I’m not hitting,
one week from today,
it will be Easter

Sat. Mar. 27 – 4:00 p.m. †George Mudrak – Mary Anne Waslasky
Sun. Mar. 28 – 8:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy – God’s Blessing for Parishioners
4:00 p.m. Laymen Stations – St. Vladimir (Scranton)
Mon. Mar. 29 – NO SERVICES
Tues. Mar. 30 – NO SERVICES
Wed. Mar. 31 – NO SERVICES
Thurs. Apr. 1 – 6:00 p.m. HOLY THURSDAY – Matins Passion of Our Lord (12 Gospels)
Fri. Apr. 2 – 3:00 p.m. GOOD FRIDAY – Vespers, Procession & Exposition of the Plaschenytsia ADORATION until 8:00 p.m. (please note that Father WILL NOT be available at this time for confession)
Sat. Apr. 3 – 2:45 p.m. Nadhrobne (Grave Closing)
3:30 p.m. Blessing of Baskets, Followed immediately by: Procession, Resurrection Matins, Divine Liturgy, Blessing of Artos & Myrovania – God’s Blessing for Parishioners
Sun. Apr. 4 – 10:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy & Myrovania – God’s Blessing for Parishioners

The Holy and Great Fast
“Because we did not fast we were banished from paradise.
So then let us fast so as to return back to paradise”
(St. Basil, On Fasting I)
“The great Holy Fast, called also the Forty Days Fast, is one of the oldest and most sacred Christian practices. The history of the Great Fast is long and rich in tradition, dating from Apostolic times.
The pre-paschal fast is called Great, not only because of the duration but also because of it’s significance in the life of the Church and of every Christian. ”
Julian J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year

Metropolitan Stefan’s Meditation for Palm Sunday
How fondly I recall how adults shared greetings with others after church on Palm Sunday by gently striking one another on the shoulders with blessed pussy willows. It was a joyful mutual greeting in anticipation of the Easter celebration to come in one week’s time. St. Paul tells Christians in today’s Epistle to always rejoice in the Lord. Joy in the Lord is a sign of the kindness and gentleness which should shine out from each one of us and from the Church upon the world around us. We are encouraged by St. Paul not to be anxious about anything. We are urged to offer everything in prayer to God, with hearts and minds filled with thanksgiving. We are assured that the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will be ours if we entrust ourselves and all whom we hold dear to the loving hands of God. That kind of peace is beyond what mankind can produce or contrive. God gives it to you and to me. Rejoice in it! Surrender your anxieties and worries as you enter Holy Week. Dismiss your priorities. Place Jesus at the center of your life. Prepare to meet the Resurrected Christ!

WELCOME – To all who are tired and need rest; to all who mourn and need comfort; to all who are friendless and need friendship; to all who are discouraged and need hope; to all who are hopeless and need sheltered love; to all who sin and need a Savior; and to whomsoever will,
this Church opens wide its doors in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. To all who are worshipping with us today – WELCOME!
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.
CONDOLENCES – Father Orest, his family and the Parish community of Saints Peter & Paul extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Anna Iwaniw who passed to her eternal reward this weekend. Her funeral was held last Tuesday. May God grant her eternal memory. VICHNAYA PAMYAT.
BIRTHDAY GREETINGS – Birthday Greetings to Michael Yatison (4/2). May God grant them long life, good health and happiness. MNOHAYA BLAHAYA LITA!
PORTRAIT OF JESUS! THE SHROUD OF TURIN – Would you like to see the famous Shroud of Turin? The actual burial cloth that wrapped the crucified body of Jesus? The Shroud’s history includes theories of how it was taken from Jerusalem to France and then secretly moved in 1939 to a chapel in Avelline in Southern Italy for safe keeping during WWII. It was later returned to Turin in 1946. Princes’, Dukes, Duchess’ and even Pope John Paukl II were persons who claimed its ownership for 2,000 years. On Sunday, April 25th SS. Peter & Paul Church will sponsor a bus to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia to view the Shroud of Turin Exhibition. The bus will leave the Churchyard at 10:30 AM. It is anticipated that we will leave Philadelphia about 3:30 PM. Edwardsville and Wilkes-Barre will be sponsoring the trip. The cost for the trip will be $25 per person. Should you wish to reserve a seat, please call Dr. Michael Labuda. 820-7105. PLEASE MAKE PAYMENT TO DR. LABUDA BY SATURDAY, APRIL 3rd, 2010.
INSTALLATION OF NEW PANEL BOX & WIRING – Quality Electric has just completed work in the basement rectory by replacing an outdated and dangerous panel box, old knob and tube wiring. A 200 AMP service was installed along with new wiring replacing the old knob and tube at a cost of $1595.00.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES – Our Spring Session of the Cross Valley Religious Education classes will break for Easter next weekend. The following Saturday, April 10th, will be the last class for this school year. Classes start at 9:30 AM.
COUNCILS APPROVED – Father received letters this week approving his choices for the Parish Financial and Pastoral Councils.
DECORATING THE CHURCH FOR EASTER – Anyone who is interested and willing to help decorate the church for Easter please join us after services on Thursday Evening and again Saturday after the Nadhrobne (Grave Closing).
PROCESSIONS – Processions will take place on Good Friday and Resurrection Services (on Saturday). We will be contacting individuals this week to help with carrying of the various items. Help will also be needed holding lighted triad candles for services on Holy Thursday, and during Good Friday and Easter Services. If you are asked to assist in this way and are able, please accept the assignment as an honor to show your love for Our Crucified and Risen Lord.
VENERATION HOURS – Our thanks to those who signed up to stay at the church at Our Lords Grave for veneration after the Vespers and Procession on Good Friday. Because of your devotion, the church will remain open for all the faithful for prayer and quiet contemplation until 8:00 PM on Friday, bringing back a time honored tradition.
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.
BEQUESTS TO YOUR PARISH – Please remember SS. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church with memorial gifts and in your will.
ANNUAL EASTER DINNER – Sunday, April 11, 2010 at the Plains Ambulance Association Hall, Maffett Street in Plains. Cocktails 2:00 p.m. Dinner 3:00 p.m. Returns are due by April 4th.
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.
PALM SUNDAY STATIONS OF THE CROSS AT ST. VLADIMIR UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH, SCRANTON – Father Paul Wolensky, Pastor, cordially invites you to attend the Stations of the Cross devotion on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2010, beginning at 4 p.m. at Saint Vladimir Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, 430 North Seventh Avenue., Scranton.  The Stations, sponsored by Saint Vladimir’s Parish and open to everyone, will be led by volunteer laymen of the Wyoming Valley area Ukrainian Catholic Churches.  Fellowship and refreshments will follow the service. Come and begin Holy Week by praying and meditating on our Lord Jesus’ sacrifice of love for our salvation.


Good Friday, Vespers & Exposition of the Plaschenytsia, Friday, April 2, 5:00 PM
Holy Saturday, Blessing of Easter Baskets, Saturday, April 3, 1:30 PM
Resurrection, Divine Liturgy, Blessing of Artos & Myrovania, Saturday, April 3, 6:00 PM
Resurrection, Procession, Matins, Divine Liturgy & Myrovania, Sunday, April 4, 7:30 AM

SAINT BASIL’S UKRAINIAN STUDIES PROGRAM – St. Basil College Seminary (Stamford, CT) opens its doors to the general public this upcoming spring. April 23-25, 2010 is your opportunity to come and learn about the riches of the Ukrainian culture in a program entitled “Come and Discover the Magic World of Pysanka!”. The aim of the program is to acquaint and provide knowledge about Ukrainian Cultural with special focus on “Easter and the spring season” customs and traditions. The program is open for all who are interested and wish to gain first hand experience and knowledge of the ancient Ukrainian traditions and customs. The program fee is $225 and includes meals and lodging. Class space is limited so reserve your spot early. Deadline for registration is April 19, 2010. Additional information, pamphlets, schedules and registration forms are available in the vestibule of the church. Or call (203) 324-4578 or online at
RETREAT HOUSE – Interested in getting away from it all and meeting God in the quiet of nature? Information about the St. Clare Retreat House at the Holy Dormition Friary in Sybertsville, PA is available in the vestibule of the church.
MARRIAGE PREP WORKSHOP – The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ukrainian Catholic Church, Melrose Park, PA will present a marriage preparation workshop, “Entering the Holy Mystery of Marriage”, on Saturday, April 17, 2010 with a follow up session on Saturday, May 1, 2010. The program will focus on various aspects of marriage, both spiritual and practical, and provides each person an opportunity for greater understanding of one’s partner and a means to strengthen one’s relationship. Registration information is available in the church vestibule. The total cost of the program is $120 / couple and includes materials, lunch and refreshments. For information call (215)635-1627.
VESPER-LITURGY OF ST. BASIL THE GREAT – April 1st, 2010 is Holy Thursday where the Mystery of the Eucharist is instituted by Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Metropolitan Stefan invites all the clergy and faithful to attend the Vesper-Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and celebrate God’s gift of Himself for our salvation. The Liturgy will begin at 10:00AM at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia. (833 N. Franklin St.) During this time, Myron will be consecrated for the Mystery of Chrismation and the washing of the feet will take place commemorating the Mystery of Priesthood. A luncheon hosted by His Grace, Metropolitan Stefan will be held for the clergy after the celebration.

In Gethsemane, Jesus begged His disciples to “watch one hour” with Him…Another Lent has begun Before it ends, will you finally manage to watch one hour with Jesus, and in that hour, to grow closer to Him in prayer…as He yearns for you to do?

LENTEN REGULATIONS – Strict Fast and Abstinence from meat, eggs and dairy products on the 1st Day of Lent and on Good Friday, Abstinence from meat only on all Fridays of Lent as well as Holy Saturday is obligatory. Voluntary abstinence from meat only on Wednesdays of Lent is also encouraged, but not obligatory. Reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist during the Paschal Season (from the onset of Lent to the Wednesday before Ascension Thursday) is required. Participation in the Lenten Services is encouraged. Fasting and abstinence are not binding on persons 60 or older, the poor, sick, nursing or pregnant women, children below the age of 14 and those who engage in physically hard labor. Prayer and alms giving oblige all!

Before Liturgies or by appointment.
Parish members should go to Holy Confession at least once a month on average, or more often if there is a serious or mortal sin. In case of a serious or mortal sin, one may not receive Holy Communion, until they have first gone to Confession and received absolution. For small or ‘daily’ sins, one may receive Holy Communion as often as once a day, provided they have made an examination of conscience, a sincere Act of Contrition and recite the Prayer before Holy Communion, found in the text of the Liturgy.

Why Pussy-willows on Palm Sunday?
The answer is simple really, no palm trees grow in Ukraine, so willow branches were used, as they were the first to blossom in the spring.
“Among our people, various practices existed, even some superstitious ones, that were associated with the blessed willow branch. The blessed willow branch was never destroyed by our people. Instead, they placed it in the house behind an icon, or planted it in the garden. With it they blessed the cattle, when they were being led for the first time into the pasture. The farmer carried the blessed willow branch around his farm, praying that it might be protected from impure spirits. Some even swallowed the bud of the willow so that “the throat would not hurt.” In some places a blessed willow branch was placed in the hands of the deceased, so that at the general resurrection they would meet Christ carrying the emblem of victory. As they were going out of church on Palm Sunday, the faithful would lightly strike one another on the shoulder with the willow branch, saying: “It is not I who strike you, but it is the willow branch, within a week we shall celebrate Easter.” Thus did they remind one another that Easter was drawing near.” Julian J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year

Velykyi Tyzhden’ – Ukrainian Easter Week
Velykyi Tyzhden’ (Great or Holy Week) starts with Verbna Nedilia (Willow Sunday – Palm Sunday to others). The willow is used instead of the palm both in the U.S. & Canada as well as Ukraine, because of the similarity of climates – that is – no palm trees! It honors the triumph of Jesus entering Jerusalem. The pussy willow branches have the additional significance of showing life early in the spring, symbolizing the hope of the resurrection. They are gathered and blessed at services. After the service, parishioners gently tap each other with the willows, in imitation of the scourging of Christ while repeating The willow hits, not I; A week from now will be Easter (Loza bje, ne ja bju, Vid neni za tyzhden’ bude Velykyi Den’). The tapping with the willow also signifies the wishes for health, happiness and wealth. After Easter, the willow was either stuck in the ground – and legend would have it that if daughters married that their young man would be healthy, strong and a good provider. Otherwise, as with tradition regarding blessed items, the willows would be burned and the ashes scattered on the fields to ensure a good crop. (Note: In some areas of Ukraine the first week of Lent is referred to as Chystyi Tyzhden’ or Pure Week)
The Great Week was a flurry of activity in Ukraine. Everything had to be done before Holy Thursday as no work was done until after the Easter celebration. House cleaning had to be done, the annual coat of whitewash had to be applied, plowing, planting and the other farm chores. As well, this is when pysanky (meaning to write) would be written (with designs), the food prepared for the Easter basket to be taken to church for blessing and of course the paska and babka had to be baked. The icons would be draped in embroidered linen towels (rushnyky – ritual cloths) in anticipation of Velykyi Den’.
Strastney Chetver (Holy or Passion Thursday), recalls the Passion of Christ. The passion service consists of readings from the twelve Gospels relating the story of the suffering of Jesus. The gospels are read (or sung), along with prayers, prostrations and hymns with bells being rung after each chapter. The bells are then silenced and replaced with either wooden clappers or the striking of a mallet on a board. The bells are not heard again until Easter morning.
Velykodnia Piatnytsia (Good Friday), observes the Lord’s Crucifixion. A fast abstaining from meat and dairy products is observed and no manual labor of any kind is permitted. Conversation is muted and must avoid argument. Good Friday observances include the Veneration of the Holy Shroud. The Holy Shroud is the representation of the sheet that Christ was buried in. There is a procession of worshipers carrying the Crucifix, banners and the Holy Shroud, with the priest carrying the Eucharist and the altar boys carrying lighted candles and the wooden clappers. The congregation circles the church and reenters symbolizing the journey from the Crucifix on Calvary to the tomb. The Holy Shroud is placed on a representative tomb and is surrounded by willows, candles and flowers.
Holy Saturday is when parishioners visit the Holy Shroud to worship and kiss the wounds of Christ. A guard of honor keeps vigil at the Holy Sepulcher. Fasting is continued to prepare the soul for purity of confession on the Great Day. Holy Saturday is also when one goes to the Sviachenia or the Blessing of Traditional Easter Foods. The easter basket contains ham, roasted lamb (symbolizing Jesus), sausages, butter, cheese, Paska, horseradish and salt.
Velykyi Den’ means Great Day and applies to Easter Sunday.
The reference for this is The Encyclopedia of Ukraine, 1984, University of Toronto Press.

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