UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Forgiveness Sunday Archpastoral Services at St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Chicago, IL
His Grace Bishop Daniel, the Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA joined Fr. Ivan Lymar, Protodeacon Andriy Fronchak, parishioners and guests of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, IL, for the beginning of Great and Holy Lent with the celebration of Cheese-fare, or more commonly know as Forgiveness Sunday.
The liturgy was accompanied by many altar servers and the beautiful singing of the cathedral choir, Boyan, under the directorship of Mr. Volodymyr Popowych. During his sermon, Bishop Daniel lead the faithful into examining their habits and actions so they could better prepare for the humbling journey of Great Lent. Using today’s holy feast day of Forgiveness Sunday as an example, Bishop Daniel had offered these words of encouragement for the parishioners for their upcoming journey through Great Lent.
“We need to forgive each other. We need to be asking each other’s forgiveness, and not just today. It really is the Orthodox way to be asking forgiveness one of another all the time. So brothers, and sisters, let’s get serious about this forgiving. Let us ask the Lord to renew our hearts so that we will be both able, and willing to forgive (starting now, right here, this minute) everyone around here, and then more following a little bit later – but from the heart.”
“Let us ask the Lord to enable this forgiveness to flow freely in our hearts starting right now. Let us ask Him that this forgiveness may have fulfillment when we approach His Table here. When He is, Himself, giving us Himself in His Body, and Blood, may this forgiveness multiply in His presence in us. It is by living in forgiveness that we will truly be able to live in love, and to demonstrate Christ in our lives. May the Lord give us the Grace to glorify Him always, everywhere, and in all things: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.”
Bishop Daniel’s message had touched many of those participating in the service and had set a tone of forgiveness and acceptance into their Great Lent journey. The service concluded with the entire parish asking for forgiveness from the hierarch, pastor and each other so they could better prepare for the upcoming Feasts of Feasts, Holy Pascha.