On Wednesday, February 12, 2020 the St. Sophia Seminary celebrated the Three Holy Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian – the Heavenly Protectors of the Seminary Chapel. The Tropar and Kondak were solemnly chanted on Tuesday evening during the Great Vespers and on Wednesday morning during the Divine Liturgy as local clergy, seminarians and Consistory workers of the UOC of USA gathered together to commemorate these three spiritual giants and to unite in the Eucharist – Holy Communion.
Even thou there was no official celebration announced for that day and no invitations were mailed out, several clergy and faithful joined His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Rector of the Seminary, for Liturgy,. One of the clergy, Fr. Philip Harendza, who graduated the seminary a few years ago, drove for three hours that morning to come for liturgy and he stated: “This chapel and this altar are so dear to me”. Besides Fr. Philip, six other clergy celebrated liturgy that morning: V. Rev. Yurij Siwko (Pastor of St. Andrew Memorial Church), V. Rev. Stephen Hutnick (Consistory Treasurer from Wilmington, DE), Rev. Vasyl Pasakas (Seminary Dean of Students), Rev. Vasyl Shak (Seminary Professor), newly ordained seminarians: Frs. Yurii Bobko and Sviatoslav Hot and Deacon Valentine Olynyk. Most of these were ordained at the chapel altar either to Holy Deaconate or Holy Priesthood. The Three Holy Hierarchs Feast Day every year brings clergy together around that very same altar.
Metropolitan Antony, in his sermon, emphasized on the life of the three holy hierarchs: on how many books they wrote, how they defended the teachings of the Church against heresies, what a great oracles they were and how much of authority they had, but at the same time how humble they were and how low they thought of themselves. None of them died as a martyr, but the impact that they left in the Orthodox world is outstanding and it all because they lived one hundred percent according to what they preached.
After the Divine Liturgy, everyone gathered together in the seminary dining room for a luncheon and fellowship.
Tropar, Tone 4: Teachers of the universe, in that you share in the way of the Apostles, entreat the Master of all, that He grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls.
Kondak, Tone 2: Lord, You have received the Sacred Heralds of Divine Proclamation, the foremost among Teachers into the enjoyment of Your Good Things and into their eternal rest. For You have accepted their labors and death as surpassing any burned offering, for You alone glorify Your Saints.