Easter Sunday

April 4, 2010

Christ is Risen! – Indeed He Is Risen!

The Significance of the Resurrection
“The resurrection of Christ is incontrovertible proof of his divinity. When the Pharisees and the Scribes demanded a sign from Christ which would prove that He is the Son of God, He answered them saying that they will not receive a sign other than that of the Prophet Jonas: “For even as Jonas was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” (Matthew 12, 40). And so it happened. On the third day of His death, the glorious Resurrection took place.
The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of our faith. What meaning would Christ’s teaching have had if the resurrection, which he had so frequently predicted, had not taken place. The Apostles, when they preached the Gospel, frequently appealed to Christ’s resurrection as to the most convincing argument proving the veracity of Christ’s doctrine. “If Christ has not risen, then,” says St. Paul, “is our preaching vain and vain too is your faith… But, as it is, Christ has risen from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (I Cor. 15,14-20) For this reason, the truth of the resurrection and the Christian religion are inseparable.
The resurrection of Christ, finally, is the sure pledge or our own resurrection to a happy everlasting life. Just as Christ rose, so too shall we rise one day to a new and glorious eternal life. Christ Himself assured us of this when He said; “ The hour is coming in which all who are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. And they who have done good shall come forth unto resurrection of life; but they who have done evil unto resurrection of judgment…For this is the will of the Father who sent me, that whoever beholds the Son and believes in Him, shall have everlasting life, and I will raise Him up on the last day.” (John 5, 28-29; 6,40) Julian J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year

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
Mon. Apr. 5 – 8:30 a.m. †Walter & †Anna Hrynkiw – Walter S. Hrynkiw
Tues. Apr. 6 – 9:00 a.m. †Catherine Dubinski – Mr. & Mrs. Joe Avena
Wed. Apr. 7 – 9:00 a.m. †William Proch – Matilda Proch
Thurs. Apr. 8 – 9:00 a.m. †Barbara Pleskach – Karl Drapievsky
Fri. Apr. 9 – 9:00 a.m. †Catherine Dubinski – Keith Russin
Sat. Apr. 10 – 4:00 p.m. Divine Liturgy & Myrovania †Anne Dnistransky – Basil Dnistransky
Sun. Apr. 11 – 8:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy & Myrovania – God’s Blessing for Parishioners

In traditional iconography, the actual moment of the Resurrection of Christ was never depicted. The Gospels and Church Tradition are silent about that moment and do not say how Christ arose. Neither does the icon show it.
The action of the event takes place in the depths of the earth, in hell, shown as a gaping black abyss. In the center of the icon is the figure of the Savior. He appears in hell not as its captive, but as its Conqueror and Deliverer, as the Master of life. He is surrounded by a radiant mandorla with rays issuing from the center of the mandorla. His garments are not those in which He is portrayed during his lifetime. They are brilliant white.
The darkness of hell is filled by the light of these Divine rays. Christ tramples underfoot the two crossed boards of hell’s doors that He has pulled down. In many icons, below the doors, in the black abyss, the cast down figure of the prince of darkness, Satan, is seen. The power of hell is destroyed. This is symbolized by the keys, nails, and so forth.
Christ raises Adam from the grave with His right hand and Eve with His left hand. By this he frees Adam’s soul and with it the souls of all those who wait for His coming with faith. This is why, to the right and left of this scene are shown two groups of Old Testament saints, with prophets at the front. On the left are kings David and Solomon in royal robes and crowns and in front of them, John the Forerunner (Baptist). On the right are the prophets. Seeing Him, they at once recognize Him as the One whom they had foretold.
By freeing the old Adam, and with him, the whole of humankind, He laid the foundation of a new life for all humankind. The spiritual raising of Adam is a symbol of the coming resurrection of the body, the first-fruit of which was the resurrection of Christ.
In the upper section of the icon, the two peaks of rock remind us that “the earth shook and the rocks were split” (Mt. 27:51) after the death of Christ. The dividing of the rocks also reminds us of the dividing of the waters of the Red Sea as the Israelites traveled from the slavery of Egypt to the freedom of the Promised Land. http://www.sspp.ca/Resurrection.htm

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!
REMINDER – KNEELING – As is our custom, from Easter until the Pentecost the faithful will stand at services during those times when they would normally kneel. In this way we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. For those whom, due to health concerns, standing for long periods is not possible, sitting is permitted.
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.
BIRTHDAY GREETINGS – Birthday Greetings to Francis Sluzar (4/10). May God grant them long life, good health and happiness. MNOHAYA BLAHAYA LITA! ! – KRISTOS VOSKRES!
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 Paul 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.
EARLY LITURGY FOR SHROUD TRIP – On Sunday, April 25th, liturgy will be moved to 8:00 a.m. to accommodate those traveling to Philadelphia to see the reproduction of the shroud.
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.
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.
PUSSY WILLOWS – Our thanks are extended to all those parishioners who donated pussy willows for our celebration of Palm Sunday. Your time throughout the year in caring for this annual need is greatly appreciated.
CEMETERY NOTES – Now that the weather is warming up please take a moment and visit our cemetery and remove any wreaths, flowers or other items that may have been left to adorn the grave of your loved ones. Remember that there is no trash pick-up at our cemetery and no receptacles for trash either. Please take any rubbish with you and dispose of it properly at home.
RELIGIOUS ED. CLASSES RESUME – The Spring Session of the Cross Valley Religious Education classes has begun. Catechism classes are offered free of charge to parishioners in grades 1st through 8th, Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30. Classes took a break this week for Easter. Next week’s class on Saturday, April 10th, will be the last for this school year. For more info, call the program’s coordinator Christine Mash at 735-1784.
CATHOLIC HOME MISSIONS – About 45% of dioceses in the United States are classified as home mission dioceses, not able to support basic pastoral needs. These dioceses are often in rural locations, lack a sufficient number of priests to serve the geographically challenging distances, and do not have sufficient funding for religious education, youth ministry, and religious formation. Please be generous in the Catholic Home Missions Appeal and help strengthen the Church at home.
This year, the Catholic Home Missions Appeal turns its focus to youth ministry, an essential component of the life and vibrancy of the Church. In youth ministry programs, young Catholics grow in faith and gain valuable leadership skills. Without this Appeal, poorer dioceses in the United States cannot sustain vital youth programs. Next week’s bulletin will contain a special collection envelope. On April 17-18 and 24-25 we will take up a collection for this Appeal. Please be generous and help strengthen the Church at home. Additional envelopes will be available in the vestibule.
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.
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.
EASTER DINNER “SVIACHENE” CELEBRATION – The Parish Family of Saint Vladimir Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of Scranton will hold its annual traditional Easter Dinner “Sviachene” Celebration on Sunday, April 11, 2010, beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Parish Center at 428 North 7th Ave.  Traditional Ukrainian Easter foods will be served, along with a hot dinner buffet.  During the Dinner an Easter Egg Hunt will be held for the children.  A Theme Basket Raffle will also be held.  Music for listening and dancing will be provided by “The Golden Tones.”  Tickets are $14 adults; $7 children age 6-12; under age 6 free.  For tickets or information, please contact Kathleen at 570-346-2414.  Advance reservations are appreciated, since hall seating is limited. Everyone is welcome.
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 http://www.stbasilcollege.com.
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.
BENEFIT RECEPTION – Myroslav Marynovych, the vice rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv will be the featured speaker at a benefit reception sponsored by the Philadelphia Friends of the Ukrainian Catholic University on Sunday afternoon, April 25 at 1 p.m. at the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center, 700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown, PA. Mr. Marynovych, a former political prisoner and founding member of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group and Amnesty International Ukraine, will speak about “Ukraine as a Fledgling Democracy: The Ukrainian Catholic University Perspective.” Tickets are $25 per person and available from the Philadelphia Friends of the UCU at your church, at the Ukrainian Center, MB Financial Bank, or by calling 610-539-8946. Mr. Marynovych will offer his remarks in Ukrainian. Simultaneous translation into English will be available at the afternoon event.

The origin of the Easter Egg Tradition
Among the ancient peoples a custom prevailed which required that one did not appear before a great personage for the first time without presenting a gift. A pious tradition relates that Mary Magdalene, when preaching the Gospel, first appeared in the court of Emperor Tiberius, she presented him with an egg painted red, saying:
“Christ is risen,” and with that greeting she began her sermon. Other Christians, following her example also began to present one another with a colored egg on the day of the Resurrection (Easter). The main reason that the egg plays such a role in Easter customs is that it is regarded as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection. Just as from the dead shell of the egg a new life emerges so too Christ came forth from the grave to a new life. The red painted egg is the symbol of our salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. Julian J. Katrij, OSBM, A Byzantine Rite Liturgical Year

“Were not our hearts burning inside…It is true.  Our Lord is risen” (Lk. 24: 32 & 34)
During these past 40 days of the Great Fast, our Church called on us to more intense prayer, penance and charity.  This was not a forced imposition making us sad or irritable.  Rather, it was an invitation to transformation.  It was a challenge to change, to improve ourselves in order that we may be truly worthy to meet and enjoy the glorious Feast of our Lord’s Holy Resurrection.
Just prior to that first glorious Easter Morning, there were betrayals, loneliness, suffering, passion and death.  Faith was displaced by fear and sadness in the disciples and friends of Christ.  Their hope was buried in the tomb.  The last act of love was the weeping women carrying the ointment.
A favorite Resurrection Gospel passage is the event of Emmaus.  Two disheartened disciples, Cleopas and Luke, talk sadly along the way about Jesus’ passion and death.  Unknown to them, our Lord joins them on the road and explains all those things that had to happen.  Later at the meal, after “breaking bread”, the two disciples recognized the Risen Jesus, and as the Gospel tells us, “They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning inside us as He talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’”  They rush back to meet the other disciples and are greeted with the joyous news, “It is true.  The Lord is risen.”  (Lk. 24: 32 & 34)
During this whole period of Great Fast preparation, our Church led us gradually to these astonishing Gospel passages announcing the Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.  And every time we hear this “good news” our hearts should burn inside us as we marvel at all these things that were done for our salvation.  We cannot be silent, we cannot just whisper it, we have to shout it out, not just you and I, but everyone, the whole Church; Christ is risen; truly He is risen!”
The Resurrection of Christ is the greatest proof of God’s love for us.  With the disciples, we too realize that there is no Resurrection without the cross.  Jesus had to suffer to bring us life.  Christ’s victory over death is our victory also because we have been baptized into His death and shall rise with Him in glory.  We live according to Christ’s Gospel anticipating His blessings and eternal life.
Faith in the Resurrection leads to life.  Our faith in Easter goes beyond the tomb.  Yes, we kiss the burial shroud with tears in our eyes.  These tears are transformed into gladness because our faith is in the Risen Christ.  Our Lord lives.
We do not just read about the Resurrection once a year, celebrate Easter as a historical event, but we rush to the empty tomb and witness the love that conquered death.  This faith has meaning for us today and everyday of our lives.  Christ’s Resurrection is reflected in our lives when we choose life over death; when we prefer light to darkness; when we choose a life of grace rather than a life of sin; and when we put love where there is hatred and indifference.
We cannot help but witness this faith to everyone, together, in Church, at our Easter meals, “It is true, Christ is risen!”  With the two Emmaus disciples, Mary Magdalene and the myrrh-bearing women, Peter and John, the rest of the Apostles, and eventually Thomas, We proclaim: “Are not our hearts burning inside us … It is true!  Our Lord is risen!” (Lk. 24: 32 & 34).
The mystery of the Resurrection of our Lord is the most important feast in our Church’s calendar.  It is the Feast of Feasts, the Holy day of the Holy days.  And we are blessed this year to celebrate Easter together, all our Ukrainian Catholic churches, with our Ukrainian Orthodox Brothers and Sisters, and all Christians.  May our faith in the Resurrection ring out a resounding “Christ is Risen” this year everywhere.
On this joyous, solemn and glorious Feast of Easter, we the episcopal shepherds of the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Province of the USA, pray for abundant grace, good health and success in your daily struggles for the good of our families, people and Christ’s Church.  Let us all be grateful for all of Almighty God’s great love for us and His generous gifts.
May our Lord’s victory – His conquest over sin and death, and His promise of peace and eternal life be yours always!

Christ is risen!   Truly He is risen!

+Stefan Soroka, Metropolitan-Archbishop of Philadelphia
+Richard Seminack, Eparch of St. Nicholas in Chicago
+Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, Eparch of Stamford
+John Bura (author), Apostolic Administrator of St. Josaphat in Parma

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