As the cold weather set upon New Jersey, the heat was on at St. Demetrius as the celebration of their feast day took place on the 11th of November with Metropolitan Antony leading the services. The Divine Liturgy began at 9:00am with the greeting of the Hierarch by Fr. Taras and Deacon Richard, Subdeacon Peter, Seminarians Yaroslaw, Oleh, Myroslaw, Altar servers James Dougles, Qory, and Ryan, the children of the parish who presented flowers, and the president of the parish council Stanley Nartowicz who greeted our Hierarch with the traditional bread and salt.
The Divine Liturgy was celebrated with solemnity and devotional prayer as the choir, led by Natalia Honcharenko, added to the spiritual inspiration of the feast day. In his homely Metropolitan Antony spoke of the many difficulties we as people encounter while reflecting on the Gospel reading and then took time to expound on the importance of two commemorations taking place, the dedication to the Great Martyr St. Demetrius and the remembrance of Armistice Day, now Veterans Day. A special prayer was read for our military, past and present, and for all the veterans of this great nation. A quiet reflection was dedicated to the veterans on the 11th minute of the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month, to commemorate this solemn moment and remembering this, the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice of the 1st World War. The war that was to end all wars!
The Divine Liturgy was concluded with the presentation of Ecclesiastical Hramotas to Frank Wrublevski, Thomas Bodnar, Olga Wasiczko, and to John and Maria Decibus. Special Commemoration Award Medals were presented to Richard Stokes, John Lehotsky, and Nadja Mrak. All the individuals were cited for their devotion and hard work in the parish. Each individual was given their worthy awards and their individual contributions to St. Demetrius parish and the St. Demetrius family were remembered. It was mentioned by both Fr. Taras and Metropolitan Antony that these awards were for dedicated service and that these individuals are an example of what can be accomplished with love for the church, and dedicated work. It was also hoped that these awards would inspire others to step up to the challenges facing the church.
The day was completed with an annual prayer at the St. Demetrius “Tree of Life” followed by a very fulfilling brunch served at the St. Demetrius Center where everyone had an opportunity to reflect and share their thoughts on the day. The following quote with the minor addition sums up the feelings of this special day …
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters) dwell in unity.”