Ukrainian Catholics worship together, determined to keep age-old liturgy alive

Kellene Goff receives Communion from Fr. Richard Janowicz. During the pandemic he has used wooden spoons, a new one for each communicant. He later burns the spoons. Goff is a Roman Catholic: The two rites are in full communion with one another. (Kristen Hannum/Catholic Sentinel)MOUNT ANGEL, OREGON — A shady drive, lined with mossy Douglas fir trees, leads to the Goff family farm, with its century-old farmhouse and groves of filberts.

On the last Sunday in August the afternoon scene included the glint of the altar servers’ gold robes, chairs arranged under birches, masked worshippers patiently waiting and clutches of children making the most of the last moments before the liturgy began.

Father Richard Janowicz stood in prayer at a makeshift altar.

The priest, longtime pastor of Nativity of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Springfield, made the trip to the Goff farm to celebrate a Mass with the Andrey Sheptytsky Ukrainian Catholic Apostolate of Portland. This was the group’s first anniversary.

After the Mass, Father Janowicz described the apostolate as being a little like the hopeful, would-be founders of a mission that doesn’t yet exist. “They have a great dedication to keeping the prayer life and to grow, despite the many challenges of this past year,” he said.

The apostolate includes people like Nada Holovcuk, who worshipped in Ukrainian-rite churches in Bosnia as a child.

“When you go to a service you grew up with, it’s close to your heart,” she said.

 

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Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.

St. John of Kronstadt