Monday, September 25, 2017

Ton Despotin! Pontifical Liturgy!

The newly enthroned bishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy Chicago, Venedykt (Benedict) Aleksiychuk, visited our parish to consecrate the new altar and make a pastoral visit that his predecessor, Richard Seminack of blessed memory, had been unable to make during his final years.

The visit began with Pontifical Great Vespers on Saturday night, possibly a first in the history of our tiny parish. The rites for greeting a bishop were observed in full.

A piano stool had to do as a throne, given the parish's modest resources.

After Vespers, with Litya, we had light refreshments and some time with the bishop. Although he asked a priest to translate for him during the sermons at Vespers and the Divine Liturgy, he English was in fact quite good conversationally. He spent some time with The Rad Trad and some friends who had tagged along for the rites.

On Sunday we had a proper hierarchical Divine Liturgy and the consecration of an altar. Liturgy began with the rite of vesting before the altar, as a bishop does in the Roman rite at Pontifical Mass from the Throne. It underscores that the office of serving at the altar and all its accompanying duties truly belong to and descend from the bishop, not the priest.

The washing of the altar with water, wine, and rose water.

And someone will have to clean the wax off the floor later. His grace gives the triple episcopal blessing during the Trisagion.

And the Divine Liturgy concludes with the anointing with oil blessed during Litya at Great Vespers the prior evening.

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