church interior with altar and icons

Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church

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Icon of the Ascension of Our Lord

The Reverend Father Alex Shuter, Pastor

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Saturday
25 March 2017
8:30am
Divine Liturgy
<<<Annunciation of the Theotokos>>>

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<<<Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts>>>

Friday
24 March 2017
5:30 pm followed by a simple
Lenten meal in St. Philip's Hall

2017 Easter Holy Week Schedule
Click link for a complete 2017 schedule of the
Liturgies of the Presanctified Gifts
and for Holy Week.

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The Great Fast

The original purpose of the pre-Pascha fast (now known as The Great Fast, or Lent) was the fasting of catechumens who were being prepared for baptism and entry into the Church. However, it quickly became a time for those who were already Christian to prepare for the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. It is the living symbol of man's entire life which is to be fulfilled in his own resurrection from the dead with Christ. It is a time of renewed devotion: of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It is a time of repentance, a real renewal of minds, hearts and deeds in conformity with Christ and his teachings. It is the time, most of all, of return to the great commandments of loving God and neighbors.

it is important not to overlook the physical requirements of fasting, it is even more important not to overlook its inward significance. Fasting is not a mere matter of diet. It is moral as well as physical. True fasting is to be converted in heart and will; it is to return to God, to come home like the Prodigal to our Father's house. In the words of St. John Chrysostom, it means 'abstinence not only from food but from sins'. 'The fast', he insists, 'should be kept not by the mouth alone but also by the eye, the ear, the feet, the hands and all the members of the body': the eye must abstain from impure sights, the ear from malicious gossip, the hands from acts of injustice. It is useless to fast from food, protests St. Basil, and yet to indulge in cruel criticism and slander: 'You do not eat meat, but you devour your brother'.

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Week's Icon Image

Week's message Image

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The Sign of the Cross (audio)

This Week's Liturgical Scripture Readings

Beginning March 19, 2017

Readings

3rd Sunday of the
Great Fast
Heb 4:14-5:6 Mk 8:34-9:1
4th Week of
The Great Fast
Monday Gen 8:21-9:7 Prov 11:19-12:6
Tuesday Gen 9:8-17 Prov 12:8-22
Wednesday
Mid-Lent
Gen 9:18-10:1 Prov 12:23-13:9
Thursday Gen 10:32-11:9 Prov 13:19-14:6
Friday Gen 12:1-7 Prov 14:14-26
Saturday Heb 2:11-18 Lk 1:24-38

Lectionary of the Byzantine Church for the entire year

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Many people have requested additioinal copies of the 25th Anniversary Divine Liturgy Booklet. A link is provided below, to a PDF edition.

25th Anniversary Divine Liturgy Book (pdf)

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About Us

Ascension of Our Lord is a Byzantine Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic church, located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The church's ancestral origins are from Eastern (Slavic) Europe. The Byzantine Catholic Church follows the Holy Traditions of the Byzantine East, with roots in Constantinople, while maintaining union with the Catholic church of Rome. All services are conducted in English. Roman Catholics in good standing with the Church are free to receive the Holy Sacraments.

A Brief History

As the first Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Church in Southeastern Virginia, the parish family first came together with a Divine Liturgy celebrated at St. Mary Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia on November 4, 1984, when Father John Lazarek began his missionary work. For four years, Fr. Lazarek travelled from Annandale, Virginia, to the Tidewater area to celebrate the Divine Liturgy.

In September of 1987, the mission purchased Greensprings Community Chapel. On February 4, 1988, Bishop Michael J. Dudick, D.D. granted canonical status to the newly-named Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church. On October 25, 1988, Father Edward G. Cimbala was assigned as the parish's first resident pastor.

In October of 1989, Father Edward Cimbala began his missionary work in Virginia Beach by founding Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church while continuing to serve the Williamsburg parish.

Today

Ascension parish has grown from a parish formed to meet the needs of the ethnic Byzantine Catholics of the area into a parish home for many residents who have come to love the Catholic traditions of the Christian East. God has blessed our parish over the years and we look forward to all that He has in store for us in the years to come!

To read more about Byzantine Catholics follow this link.

 

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!