Archbishop Daniel Leads Divine Services in St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Chicago, IL
On Saturday, February 24, Archbishop Daniel paid an archpastoral visit to Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, IL.
On Sunday, February 25, the feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, Archbishop Daniel celebrated Divine Liturgy in the cathedral. His Eminence was co-served by Vey Rev. Fr. Ivan Lymar (pastor of St. Volodymyr Cathedral), Rev. Fr. John Charest and Protodeacon Andriy Fronchak. Subdeacon Mykola Zomchak, a seminarian of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Bound Brook, NJ) and the altar servers of St. Volodymyr Cathedral, provided the necessary liturgical assistance during the Divine Liturgy led by the archpastor.
It is a spiritual traditional for the faithful to commune of Christ’s Holy Mysteries during the journey of the Great and Holy Lent. At the service, a multitude of parishioners and students of the parish’s Ukrainian Language School took Holy Communion. Vladyka Daniel addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he reminded those present of the meaning and significance of iconography in the life of the Church. Vladyka stated: “…for us Orthodox Christians the presence of icons in our churches and in our homes bears witness to the Incarnation of God and His presence in our lives. Icons also remind us of His invitation to draw closer to Him. Sunday of Orthodoxy and the weeks that follow in Holy and Great Lent help facilitate our effort to become united to Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is my heartfelt prayer that through the veneration of holy icons a doorway to Christ will be opened unto us, permitting us to enter into the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).
Addressing the parents and children in attendance of the service, Archbishop Daniel prayerfully instructed the faithful to care for the younger generation by investing in them not only via toy gifts and video games, but by verbal communication and prayerful atmosphere; teaching the youth of the Church and our society the timeless moral and spiritual values of Christianity.
Following Holy Communion, all the clergy and faithful, lead by the youth of the cathedral’s community gathered around the icon stand in the middle of the church, bearing in their hands the icons of Christ, the Birth-Giver of God and various saints. The entire congregation joined the clergy of the cathedral, led by Archbishjop Daniel, in chanting a Memorial service, honoring the sacrifices of the Heavenly Hundred- innocent students that lost their lives during the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv in 2014.
Holding the sacred icons in their hands, the children prayerfully listened to the archpastor, as he explained the sacrifices of modern day saints of our society, numerous Christians, who because of persecutions in various parts of the world have lost their lives for their Faith, remaining true to their Christian way of life.
One by one parishioners of the cathedral approached the children and lowered themselves to their height, as the youth of the parish extended their hands holding the sacred images – icons for veneration.
In conclusion, Archbishop Daniel stated: “… my beloved, perhaps now more than ever before, it is important to declare our Orthodox Christian Faith, for the world is suffering and desperately searching for peace and reconciliation. As the world produces distorted images of the truth, we must share the beauty of the Gospel. As the world resorts to violence and hatred, we must respond with love and forgiveness. And as the world falls deeper into despair, let us ask God to grant us courage to endure and to allow us to serve as icons of hope for our neighbor.
Wishing all of you, on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the abundant blessings of the Lord, I fervently pray that He grant to all of us the courage, the power and the wisdom to proclaim His eternal and saving Orthodox Faith to all people, both those who are far off and those who are near (Eph. 2:17)."
In the church hall, the ladies of the cathedral prepared a festal lenten luncheon for everyone in attendance as the cathedral community held their annual General Parish Meeting.