UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Ice Cross in Front of Parma Cathedral!
Fr. Michael Hontaruk
Assistant Pastor of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Parma, Ohio
The Holy Theophany is one of the 12 Great Feast Days of the Holy Orthodox Church that follows after the Feast Day of Naming of our Lord Jesus Christ. On that day our Savior was baptized in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Mt. 3, 16-17) This event shows for all of us that God is one in the Holy Trinity. Saint John Chrysostom said: “Why then is this day called Theophany? Because Christ made Himself known to all - not then when He was born – but then when He was baptized. Until this time He was not known to the people. And that the people did not known Him, who He was, listen about this to John the Baptist, who says: “Among you stands one you do not know.” (Jn. 1,26)
On the feast day of Theophany, following the Divine Liturgy, the Great Blessing of the Water is usually celebrated. This year at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Parma, OH, the faithful together with the clergy celebrated this Holy Day. The water was blessed in the morning of the Eve of Theophany. That evening the Great Compline was served with the responses sang by the cathedral choir and readings by the parish youth. On January 19th, the Feast of Theophany began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Once again the cathedral choir sang the responses. On Thursday morning, following Divine Liturgy, the water was blessed again, and the Ice Cross, which once again graces the front of the cathedral church and enhances the Holy Day was blessed. We appreciate this annual tradition which is admired by thousands of people who drive by our church daily. The pictures show the process of construction this 10 foot croos.