UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Bishop Daniel Leads 9/11 Memorial Prayers Service at Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Pinellas Park, FL
With about 100 people in attendance, the parish family of Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Pinellas Park, FL prayed on Sunday – September 11, 2016 – marking the 15th anniversary of the most tragic event in the modern history of the United States of America – terrorist attack upon the US on 9/11/2001.
The Ecclesiastical Church Calendar (according to Julian Calendar) also marked the feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on Sunday September 11, 2016 and it was quite appropriate for the clergy of the Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox parish to be fully vested in dark read colors, remembering the sacrificial pious life of one of the greatest prophet of the Church – St. John the Baptist.
The liturgical services of the day were served by His Grace Bishop Daniel, who visited Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Pinellas Park, FL in the capacity of President of Consistory of the UOC of the USA, while addressing some vital issues in the life of the parish family, especially the health of its current pastor. Surrounded by four priests (Very Rev. Fr. Ivan Petrouchtchak, Fr. Vasyl Shak, Fr. Stephen and Fr. Michael of the Albanian Episcopate of OCA), Vladyka Daniel lead not only the Eucharistic Liturgy, but also a memorial service, commemorating the innocent victims of the brutal terrorist attack on US soil of 9/11/2001.
In his remarks, the bishop stated that “…911… For years, those numbers simply meant a call for help. Now they also remind us of September 11, 2001, the date of the worst terrorist attack on the United States of America and one of the deadliest days ever on American soil.
In October 2001, the United States Congress passed a joint resolution designating that every September 11th be observed as "Patriot Day." The resolution requests that U.S. government entities and interested organizations and individuals display the flag of the United States at half staff on Patriot Day and that the people of the United States observe a moment of silence in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks…
…After September 11, we are a wounded people. We share loss and pain, anger and fear, shock and determination in the face of these attacks on our nation and all humanity. We also honor the selflessness of firefighters, police, chaplains, and other brave individuals who gave their lives in the service of others. They are true heroes and heroines.
In those and these difficult days, our faith has lifted us up and sustained us. Our nation turned to God in prayer and in faith with a new intensity. This was evident on cell phones on hijacked airliners, on stairways in doomed towers, in cathedrals and parish churches, at ecumenical and interfaith services, in our homes and hearts. Our faith teaches us about good and evil, free will and responsibility. Jesus' life, teaching, death and resurrection show us the meaning of love and justice in a broken world. Sacred Scripture and traditional ethical principles define what it means to make peace. They provide moral guidance on how the world should respond justly to terrorism in order to reestablish peace and order. Thus is it our sacred responsibility, as children of God, to care for the world of ours; to sustain peace and to realize our sacred duty - to preserve the common good, protect the innocent, and reestablish peace and order in the world around us.'"
Following the prayer service, the parish family of Holy Archangel Michael prepared a luncheon, observing the strict liturgical fast of the day and yet sharing in prayerful fellowship with each other.