Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church
124 Bridge Street / P.O. Box 206
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
Fr. James F. Morris, Jr., Pastor
3Dewey Dr. Unit D Salem, MA 01970 cellular phone: 781-632-5182 Email: email@example.com
Saturday, March 25 – Annunciation of the Most Holy Mother of God –
Divine Liturgy – 9:00 a.m.
Sunday, March 26 – 5th Sunday of Great Lent / Commemoration of St. Mary of Egypt –
Liturgy of St. Basil the Great – 10:00 a.m. / Sacrament of Holy Confession – 9:15 a.m.
Saturday, April 1 – The Raising of Lazarus – Divine Liturgy – 9:00 a.m.
Sunday, April 2 – Palm Sunday / Flower Sunday – Sacrament of Confession – 9:15 a.m.
Divine Liturgy – 10:00 a.m. / Coffee and light refreshments
Wednesday, April 5 – Great and Holy Wednesday – Service Holy Anointing; Blessing of Holy Oil
and administering of the Sacrament of Healing to all the faithful. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 6 – Great and Holy Thursday – Liturgy of the Mystical Supper; Vespers and Liturgy of St. Basil with Gospel of the Lord’s Passion – 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 7 – Great and Holy Friday / Good Friday – Great Vespers and Burial Procession, veneration of the Plashshanytsya (Burial Shroud) – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 8 – Great and Holy Saturday – Vigil and quiet prayer at the Tomb of the Lord /
Sacrament of Confession – 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 9 – Resurrection of Our Lord / Pascha / Easter Sunday
Easter Procession and Proclamation of the Gospel at the Church Door – 9:00 a.m.
Paschal Matins, Sermon of St. John Chrysostom – 9:15 a.m.
Divine Liturgy – 10:00 a.m.
Blessing of the Artos (Paschal Bread) and Easter Baskets following Services
Sunday, April 16 – Thomas Sunday – Divine Liturgy – 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, April 23 – Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women – Divine Liturgy – 10:00 a.m.
Annual Easter Dinner – Admission – $12.00 – Details to follow
Church Interior Painting – As of this writing, the painting of all walls and ceilings in the church is complete. It is thanks to your prayers, along with your thoughtful and generous donations that we are able to revitalize and brighten our worship space. We expect to be celebrating Liturgy in the church once more by mid-March.
Church Support and Parish Meeting– In the current financial climate and with the effects of inflation hitting everyone hard these days, I thank each of you most sincerely for your continued financial support of the church. While this is not the only way in which we express our Faith, it is important for the continuation of the life of St. John’s that we continue our support even in these challenging times. The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 19. A simple buffet luncheon with sandwich platters will be offered along with coffee and light refreshments in keeping with the Lenten Season. The Meeting, as usual, will be highlighted by the sharing of the annual Financial Report for 2022. There will be an opportunity for questions and comments on the report as well as other aspects of the life of our parish. All are encouraged to attend.
As you know, this day is known as “Cheese Fast” or “Cheese Fare” Sunday. In the strict traditional practice of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, fasting from meat will have already begun this past week and today would be the last day to enjoy dairy products for the forty days of Lent. In contemporary parlance we would say that keeping this kind of strict monastic fast involves becoming a “vegan” for all of Lent. The Church does not require this kind of strict Fast of all the faithful. It is, in fact, the kind of fast that had its origins in monastic life. The basic requirement is fasting on the First Day of Lent, on Good Friday and Holy Saturday and on all of the Fridays of Lent. In the Ukrainian Church this usually means fasting from meat and dairy products and not eating between meals as well as staying away from other forms of excess. Traditionally, many of our faithful have added Wednesdays as fast days.
Please allow me to offer the thought that each of us has the freedom to decide how we will observe the Lenten practice of Fasting as long as we are doing things in the spirit of prayer and sacrifice as opposed to observing rules and regulations in a legalistic way. The important thing to remember is that fasting be carried out in a spirit of emptying ourselves and letting go of attachment to food in order to make room for God and remind us of our dependence on God. Equally important are the practices of prayer and charitable giving as well as service to neighbor. No doubt you have already done some thinking about your own Lenten Journey for 2023 and how you might accept the invitations that God places before you to make sacrifices in a cheerful manner so as to allow God’s love to permeate more of our thoughts, our plans and our day to day actions.
This Sunday is also known as “Forgiveness Sunday.” We are called by today’s Gospel to ask forgiveness for our thoughtlessness or for the times we have hurt others by our thoughts toward them, by our words or by our actions. There is no better prayer that can assist us as a daily reminder of the true spirit of Lent than The Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian. You will find it below in both Ukrainian and English. I recommend that all of us integrate it into our daily Lenten practice starting today.
Prayer of St. Ephraim
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Your servant.
Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother or sister, for blessed are you, unto ages of ages. Amen.
Молитва Св. Єфрема
Господи і Владико життя мого! Духа лінивства, без надійности, владолюбства і пустомовства не дай мені.
Духа ж чистоти, смиренномудрости, терпеливости і любові дай мені, рабові Твоєму. Так, Господи Царю!
Дай мені бачити провини мої і не осуджувати брата мого, бо Ти благословенний на віки віків. Амінь