We welcome everyone to join us for Liturgies and services during this holiest time on our liturgical calendar.
We begin with Palm Sunday, the recounting of Christ’s arrival in the city of Jerusalem for the commemoration of the Passover. We hear of the people greeting our Lord with branches of palms. In our Eastern Catholic celebration, we distribute blessed pussy willow branches, a traditional substitution for palms which were not available to our ancestors in their Carpathian homeland.
We enter Great and Holy Week, the beginning of the bittersweet journey that our Lord endures for our sins, the ultimate sacrifice of his life for our redemption. We journey through the Gospel readings: first on Holy Thursday with the Institution of the Holy Eucharist; the Last Supper of the Passover meal. And we continue with our Lord on the way of the cross to Calvary. On Good Friday we wince upon hearing retold the cruelty of His crucifixion. We grieve in sorrow as we re-enact his burial in a symbolic procession to the tomb where an icon of Holy body bearing the wounds of his suffering, is solemnly placed.
On Holy Saturday we await with quiet and reserved anticipation what we are promised will come next, believing but not yet confirmed. Not until the women arrive at the tomb finding it empty, with the burial linens neatly arranged. And we hear the angel question who are we seeking?
We celebrate the Feast of Feast known to us as Pascha (Easter) and we hear the beautiful words of the Gospel of John that starts with “In the beginning was the Word…..”.
We proclaim and rejoice “Christ is Risen!” “Christos Voskrese!” to the world. In this and the Gospel readings we continue to hear through Bright Monday (Easter Monday), we find all of the hope we need — the revelation that death has been conquered and a path to eternal life has been opened to all who believe.
And in our church, we throw open the doors of the icon screen and the church is filled with the brightness of Light as a symbolic expression of this Truth. It is the Feast of Feasts, the most important day of the year for all Christians.
Jesus Christ is Victorious !
We bless Pascha Baskets filled with foods symbolic of our Christian beliefs:
Pascha Basket Blessing at St. Michael’s, Pittston: Paschal
Food Blessing (of baskets) will take place IN THE CHURCH and not in the Church Hall. Before Liturgy starts, place your food basket on the altar steps. Remember to uncover it because it will be blessed immediately after Liturgy. See schedule below for details. There will be no Paschal Food Blessing at St. Michaels on Holy Saturday afternoon.
Pascha Basket Blessing at St. Nicholas of Myra, Swoyersville: There is a Paschal Food Blessing at St. Nicholas Church at 11 am on Holy Saturday and after the Resurrection Sunday Liturgy (Easter Day).