Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church

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Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church Online

Holy Theotokos into the Temple
Holy Theotokos into the Temple
Holy Theotokos into the Temple
Fr. Bazyl
Fr. Bazyl
Fr. Bazyl
Elevation of Dc. Mychail
Elevation of Dc. Mychail
Elevation of Dc. Mychail

Welcome to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church!

We are located at 1301 Newport Avenue in Northampton, Pennsylvania.

Our church follows the Julian (Old) Calendar. All Orthodox Christians are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Blessed Sacraments of Repentance and Eucharist.


27th Week after Pentecost

Friday, 12 (29 Nov.) December Fast Day
Martyr Paramon and 370 Martyrs in Bithynia (250).
Ven. Nectarius the Obedient of the Kyiv Caves (XII cent.).
2 Tim. 1, 1-2, 8-18            Lk. 19, 12-28

Saturday, 13 (30 Nov.) December  Fast Day: Fish
Holy and All-praised Apostle Andrew the First-called (62).
St. Frumentius, archbishop of Abyssinia (380).
Gal. 5, 22 – 6, 2            Lk. 10, 19-21
8:30 a.m. Third & Sixth Hours
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy
5:00 p.m. Great Vespers

Sunday, 14 (1st) December  Fast Day: Fish
27th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone 2
8:30 a.m. Third & Sixth Hours
Holy Mystery of Repentance
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy

28th Week after Pentecost.

Monday, 15 (2nd) December  Fast Day
Prophet Habakkuk (Abbacum) (VII cent. B.C.).
St. Athanasius “the Resurrected”, recluse of the Kyiv Caves (1176). St. Athanasius, recluse of the Kyiv Caves (XIII cent.).
2 Tim. 2, 20-26            Lk. 19, 37-44

Tuesday, 16 (3rd) December Fast Day: Wine & Oil
Prophet Zephaniah (Sophonius) (635 B.C.).
2 Tim. 3, 16 – 4, 4            Lk. 19, 45-48

Wednesday, 17 (4th) December  Fast Day:  Wine & Oil
Great-martyr Barbara and Martyr Juliana at Heliapolis in Syria
(306). Ven. John Damascene (776).
2 Tim. 4, 9-22            Lk. 20, 1-8

Thursday, 18 (5th) December  Fast Day: Fish    
St. Sabbas the Sanctified (532).
Titus 1, 5 – 2, 1            Lk. 20, 9-18
 9:00 a.m. Hierarchic Divine Liturgy (St. Sophia Seminary)

Friday, 19 (6th) December  Fast Day: Fish    
St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, archb. of Myra in Lycia (345).
Titus 1, 15 – 2, 10            Lk. 20, 19-26
8:30 a.m. Third & Sixth Hours                
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy

Saturday, 20 (7th) December  Fast Day: Fish
St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan (397). Ven. Paul the Obedient and Ven. John, faster of the Kyiv Caves (XII cent.).
Eph. 1, 16-23            Lk. 12, 32-40
5:00 p.m. Great Vespers

Sunday, 21 (8th ) December  Fast Day: Fish
28th Sunday after Pentecost. Tone 3
8:30 a.m. Third & Sixth Hours
Holy Mystery of Repentance
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy

See for the entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple

See pictures of His Eminence Metropolitan ANTONY and elevation of Deacon Mychail Sawarynski to rank of Protodeacon in the Holy Orthodox Church at

Click on this link to see pictures of the Holy Land Pilgrimage with Bishop Daniel, Kathy Crayosky, Linda and Michael Tilson, and 20+ pilgrims!:  Sacred Holy Land Pilgrimage 2014 at!

Go to the  Weekly Bulletin Tab for DAILY LITURGICAL CALENDAR,  SCRIPTURE READINGS AND MENAION for the current week.


Epistle of the Permanent Conference of Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops Beyond the Borders of Ukraine On the occasion of the Nativity Fast:

Glory to Jesus Christ!

In forty days’ time the Holy Orthodox Church will be rejoicing in the appearance of God in the flesh on the feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Before this wondrous feast day, starting on November 28, the Mother Church will lead its faithful through 40 days of preparation called the Nativity Fast. This period is also known as St. Philip’s Fast because it begins on the day following the Feast Day of St. Philip.

In the Orthodox Church it is the custom to prepare ourselves before the celebration of major feast days through fasting, almsgiving and prayer. We are like the Men from the East following the Star of Bethlehem, becoming gradually illuminated by this extraordinary light as we approach our destination, the humble cave of the birth of our Saviour.

These forty days before Christ’s Nativity are used to ready our whole being – our bodies through fasting, our hearts through prayer, our soul through good works and our mind through directing our thoughts towards God. We are blessed to freely practice our faith in our democratic societies, unlike other regions of the world where Christians today face increasing persecution. At the same time, our hectic, materialistic lifestyles are themselves an oppression, making the Nativity Fast a particular challenge. If we hope to make spiritual gains during this period, let us focus on its real spiritual goals as the Lord taught when He first fasted in the desert (Mt 4:1-11).

Too often, we get caught up in avoidance or abstention during this and other fast periods. Instead, we ought to strive for achievement and benefit. The Nativity Fast could be regarded as a kind of “boot camp” for Orthodox Christians. Here, we can immerse our entire being in “spiritual training” to realize Christian perfection and reach salvation, becoming closer to God.

The Fast calls us to physical discipline. While the emphasis may appear to be on food restrictions, the Nativity Fast is not a diet. It is a spiritual tool to train our will, sculpt our virtues and tame our passions. St. Basil states, “Nothing subdues and controls the body as does the practice of temperance. It is this temperance that serves as a control to those youthful passions and desires.” Temperance conditions our psyche and our hearts. Because our spiritual and physical are intrinsically entwined, our resolve to limit our food intake translates into spiritual resolve to withstand the temptations of the secular world in which we live. In this way, we gain by developing our Christian virtues, which are so pleasing to the Lord.

The Fast also calls us to philanthropic works. Doing good deeds – large and small – for those around us, sadly, remains one of the most underdeveloped aspects of our spiritual preparations during fasting periods. A kind word to a stressed out colleague or a phone call to a shut in may be as powerful as a large tax-deductible donation to a local charity. Just as we condition ourselves in food intake, this Nativity Fast helps us to condition the way we act towards others. Orthodox Christians are called upon to don our spiritual armor of virtues and extend tolerance and patience, as well as assistance to others, even when it is inconvenient for us. St. John Chrysostom states, “True fasting is distancing ourselves from sin, holding our tongue, putting away our anger, stifling our passions, stopping our gossip and deceit.” It also helps to temper our will. By opening our hearts and minds, we can be enlightened by God’s Holy grace. Charitable works help us to purify our conscience and achieve moral perfection, which is the obligation of every Christian.

We also call upon our faithful during this Nativity Fast to consider aiding others in need in the world. “What you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me,” Jesus explained the purpose of helping others (Mt 25:40). Our brothers and sisters in our spiritual homeland of Ukraine have suffered greatly following a year of revolution, foreign invasion and war. They have great need of our charity and prayers. The Lord has blessed our Ukrainian Orthodox Diaspora with prosperity and opportunities, which we are encouraged to share with those in our homeland. Elsewhere, Christians in the Middle East face brutal persecution and have been forced to flee their native lands. Let us keep their suffering in our Nativity prayers and assist where possible.
The Fast also calls us to prayer. It provides a unique opportunity to commune more deeply with God. We may use our prayer time for repentance and tears to cleanse our hearts. We may offer supplications of thanksgiving for His gifts as well as for those unpleasant experiences which are sent to teach us important lessons of patience, humility and tolerance. We may also use our prayer time to pray for the well-being of others – for our parents, grandparents, teachers, co-workers and siblings, for the departed and for those in need. Let us also pray for peace in our spiritual homeland of Ukraine and for the protection of oppressed Christians in the world.

The Nativity Fast is a time to shake us out of our spiritual lethargy in order to find joy in the Lord. This spiritual tool humbles our entire being and cleanses us from sin so that we may be prepared to greet the Lord our God who became human in order that we may part-take of the divine. 
May the All-Merciful Lord God help us to observe this Nativity Fast in the proper manner so that in purity of heart and spiritual joy we will become worthy to greet the New-born Christ Child in forty days.





Five Powerful Sayings of the Fathers

1. St. John Chrysostom on Scripture
“The Holy Scriptures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them upon our hearts.”

2. St. Nektarios of Aegina on Faith
“Christian religion is not a certain philosophic system, about which learned men, trained in metaphysical studies, argue and then either espouse or reject, according to the opinion each one has formed. It is faith, established in the souls of men, which ought to be spread to the many and be maintained in their consciousnesses.”

3. Elder Cleopa of Sihastria on the Cross
“Do not do anything without signing yourself with the sign of the Cross! When you depart on a journey, when you begin your work, when you go to study, when you are alone, and when you are with other people, seal yourself with the Holy Cross on your forehead, your body, your chest, your heart, your lips, your eyes, your ears. All of you should be sealed with the sign of Christ’s victory over hell. Then you will no longer be afraid of charms, evil spirits, or sorcery, because these are dissolved by the power of the Cross like wax before fire and like dust before the wind.”

4. St. John of Kronstadt on the Saints
“What does the daily invocation of the saints signify — of different ones each day, during the whole year, and during our whole life? It signifies that God’s saints — as our brethren, but perfect — live, and are near us, ever ready to help us, by the grace of God. We live together with them in the house of our Heavenly Father, only in different parts of it. We live in the earthly, they in the heavenly half; but we can converse with them, and they with us. God’s saints are near to the believing heart, and are ready in a moment to help those who call upon them with faith and love.”

5. St. Seraphim of Sarov on Christian Homes
“Neither do walls or rich furniture make a home. Millionaires in magnificent mansions may never know a home. But where there are good relationships, where love binds the family together and to God, there happiness is always to be found. For good relationships are heaven anywhere.”


The Feast of Pentecost is often an under-appreciated Feast, given its high ranking. However, it is also often misunderstood. For example, we see that some call Pentecost “the birthday of the Church.” However, the Church teaches us otherwise. The Synaxarion states the following: “Some erroneously hold that Pentecost is the ‘birthday of the Church.’ But this is not true, for the teaching of the holy Fathers is that the Church existed before all other things.”
The Synaxarion goes on to tell us that the Shepherd of Hermas correctly points out that the Church is the aged woman, that “she was created before all things; therefore he is aged, and for her sake the world was framed.” St. Gregory the Theologian speaks of “the Church of Christ as it subsisted both before and after the Incarnation (PG 35:1108-9). St Epiphanius of Cyprus writes that “the Catholic Church, which exists from the ages, is revealed most clearly in the incarnate advent of Christ” (PG 42.640). St. John of Damascus tell us that “the Holy Catholic Church of God, therefore, is the assembly of the holy Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, and Martyrs who have been from the very beginning, to whom were added all the nations who believed with one accord (PG 96; 1357c). St. Clement of Rome tells us that the Church existed from the creation of the angels, and St. Gregory the theologian that “the Prophets made the Church of firm establishment, the Apostles conjoined it, and the Evangelists set it in order” (PG 35; 589a). Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos states: “With the creation of the angels and men we have the first phase of the Church. Then through the fall of men we had the fall of the Church. Nevertheless a small remnant of the Church remained in the persons of the Prophets and the righteous men (i.e. persons) of the Old Testament.”
So then, what is Pentecost with relation to the Church? As Metropolitan Hierotheos further points out, it is only “through the Incarnation of Christ” culminating “with the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of the Pentecost” that “the Church of the Old Testament, which was spiritual, now became fleshly, the Body of Christ.” (A visual Catechism of the Orthodox Church, 84, section 26). The Church became a deified Body, the Lord’s deified Body, and the abode of the Holy Trinity.
It was at Pentecost that in full, the Church became the priestly kingdom of God the Father, the Body of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. It became not any longer just a people but an indwelled people, and indeed the indwelled people, as the Church is the dwelling place of the Holy Trinity by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is at Pentecost that the truth of Christ is able to be shared with all. It was on Pentecost that Christ was made present everywhere, not only according to divinity any longer, but also humanity. The Lord who is on the throne with the Father in humanity and divinity at the Ascension is at Pentecost made present by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Mysteries of the Church (which also have an epiklesis, a calling down of the Holy Spirit). Just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the Church on Pentecost to make it Holy, so also He descends on the waters of Baptism to sanctify them, the Chrism to make them Holy, Communion to consecrate, the ordained to set them aside for their calling, the penitent to forgive, the husband and wife to make the two one. On Pentecost it became the Household of the Faith. It was at Pentecost that the Church was empowered to growth the Church, and it is the fruit of this that Christ is also enthroned in divinity and humanity on the Holy Tables from Antarctica to northernmost Alaska, from Asia to Europe, to Africa to the Americas, and to Oceana and Australia in the Eucharist.
It was not only the final establishment of the Royal Priesthood by the Holy Spirit but also the ordained Priesthood: "After the visitation of the Comforter, the Apostles became High Priests" (St. Sophronius of Jerusalem, PG 87, 3981B). As the Synaxarion points out, on this day commenced the celebration the Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist by which we become "partakers of the Divine Nature" (II Peter 1:4). After the Ascension, it is said of the Apostles and disciples remained in "prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14), but after the coming of the Holy Spirit they persevered in the Communion of the breaking of bread “and in the prayers" (Acts 2:42).
We must not take for granted our participation in the grace of Pentecost. We must always prepare ourselves and have a spirit of repentance in Christ. As we read in the prayer behind the Amvon for Pentecost:
After Your suffering and Resurrection, O Christ, You ascended into the heavens, the heavens which You had lowered before to descend and to take flesh from the Virgin for our sakes. You confirmed Your promise made on earth by sending down Your comforting Spirit upon Your disciples. In them You sustained a firm and all-holy unity and through them the Church by belief in You in the steadfast presence of the Spirit and His many gifts.
Do not take His grace from us, as our sins deserve, but put to death all carnal desires in us that would prevent the coming of the Spirit. Drive out from us any thought, word or deed that would grieve Him, and any hindering evil passion that would make our souls dark with the loss of His light. Make us cleansed vessels of His glory, that we may represent the upper room in Zion, full of His brightness. Show us to be thrones of His Spiritual fire and life to Your Apostles who received His first-fruits. For by His strength, we will be led into the holy earth of Your immortal and blessed promise. The whole world, then, is full of joy in You and continually glorifies You.
(priest) For You are most glorious, together with Your co-eternal Father, and Your co-eternal, all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
May the good Lord guide us to true repentance. May we indeed strive to put to death all carnal desires that prevent the coming of the Spirit. May He make and show us to be thrones of His Spirit fire and life. A spiritually prosperous Feast Day to all!
Fr. Harry Linsinbigler


Go to pictures to see Paschal service procession and food blessing.

Go to pictures to see Clergy at the Service of Orthodoxy in St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church on Sunday March 9, 2014.

Read about the Theophany of Our Lord in the section below.

Read about the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ at       

Read the Paschal Encyclical of the Permanent Conference of Bishops at



Matthew 25:35-36, 40

‘For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me . . . as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’


Vigil Lights
Vigil Lights
Vigil Lights
Dc. Mychail Sawarynski
Dc. Mychail Sawarynski
Dc. Mychail Sawarynski
His Eminence Antony
His Eminence Antony
His Eminence Antony
Matters of Interest to our Orthodox Community

Theophany of Our Lord 

The Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord is a major feast in Eastern Christianity, with only Pascha (Easter) and Pentecost considered greater on the liturgical calendar. The importance of Christ's baptism is described in the Gospels of apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and is the first manifestation of the Holy Trinity to mankind. Theophany comes from the Greek word "theophania," which means "appearance of God" or "manifestation of God."  The V. Rev. Bazyl Zawierucha, Rector of ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH , Northampton, celebrated the feast day Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m.  As usual. Deacon Dc. Mychail Sawarynski assisted at the services.  An important part of the feast is the blessing of holy water called "Jordan Water," which signifies Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River. "Our Heavenly Father Himself, with His mighty voice and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, said of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, with these words, 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.' God said these words while Jesus was standing in the Jordan River. And most of the people who gathered on the banks of the Jordan to hear the sermons of St. John the Baptist heard and observed this unique presentation, thus making this feast the first feast in the Christian church before Christmas was introduced as a separate feast, according to St. John Chrysostom."
At that time, St. John the Baptist referred the people to receive the Son of God. Today the church does it, "Through baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we become the children of God and heirs of the heavenly kingdom. Only Holy Baptism can liberate us from the bondage of Original Sin, and the holy water possesses the power that washes away the evil."  In addition to Jesus' baptism, Theophany traditionally included the Nativity, the wedding feast at Cana, the visit by the Magi and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple as a child, all of which indicate in some way the manifestation of God on Earth.
  Father Bazyl conducted the "Great Blessing of Jordan Water" service near the end of the Divine Liturgy. The large font had been placed before the iconostasis and filled with water for the blessing.
 Three parishioners – John Hnatow Jr, Michael Hnatow, and Nicholas Parchomenko - each held one of three trikiri, which is three candles joined together. Each trikiri was lit and after reading prayers and scripture, Father Bazyl took each trikiri, one at a time, made the sign of the cross with them over the water three times, and then immersed the lighted ends into the water. The extinguished candles were handed back to the candle bearers. After another prayer, Father Bazyl leaned over the font and blew upon the water three times in the form of a cross. He later immersed his hand into the water three times, after which he made the sign of the cross with an ornate cross, held the cross above his head with both hands and then plunged it into the water three times.
When the blessing was completed, Father Bazyl dipped a glass into the water font and then drank three sips of the Jordan Water.  He then walked through the church to bless the congregation with the holy water. As the service ended, the faithful walked to the front of the church, kissed the cross and were anointed with holy oil, and went to the baptismal font with containers to take some blessed water home. In some cases, people drank some water as they left the church, a common tradition, as is getting some of the candle wax floating the font in their containers.


NEW!  Vigil Lights (Lampadas)
We thank the following donors of VIGIL LIGHTS/LAMPADAS for the icon screen:
Martha Dowling, in loving memory of +Richard Dowling.
M/M John Vitushinsky, in honor of their grandchildren, Lily, Luke, Kylee and Taylor
M/M Howard Winters, in loving memory of +Gregory Winters
M/M Nicholas Parchomenko, in loving memory of +Olga and +Fedir Parchomenko, and +Jack and +Lorraine Holland.
Thanks are extended to Mr. Taras Pypiuk for constructing the method of hanging the lamps.

The Enthronement of Metropolitan Antony
See the press release at
VIew the TV edition (in Ukrainian) of the Enthronement of His Eminence Antony at:
(Note: Father Bazyl makes a cameo appearance!)
Click here to read Metropolitan Antony's biography.
Read about the triumph of Orthodoxy by Fr. Silouan Rolando HERE.
From the Department of Christian Education of the Orthodox Church in America:


On Sunday, September 30, we celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of our parish and church, and we  greeted in our midst our Spiritual Father and Hierarch, His Eminence The Most Reverend Archbishop, Locum-Tenens and Acting Metropolitan, Ruling Hierarch of the Eastern Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, ANTONY!  See Pictures Tab for photos at our DIvine Liturgy and the Banquet at St Peter and Paul's Fellowship Hall! 


Pictures above (CLICK to enlarge pictures):

See Pictures Tab for:
1) Children receiving their certificates

2) Pictures from the Paschal Service 2013

4) Photos of the Holy Supper on the Eve of the Nativity in the AVM Church Hall

5) 90th Anniversary Liturgy and Banquet

6) His Emminence Archbishop Antony's Heirarchical Service at our church on 9/25/2011

7) Pre-Sanctified Liturgy photos from 2012

8) Wine Event fund-raiser

9) Miscellaneous pictures

Read Father Bazyl's pastoral reflections from the UOC website at


From the archives!   Listen to original recordings of The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom performed by the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church Choir.  Go to the Tab on the left labeled The Divine Liturgy .

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