Sundays and Feast Days: 10:00 am
Weekdays: Available upon request.
To receive the Eucharist: approach, say your name, tilt your head back slightly and open your mouth. Father will drop the Eucharist into your mouth with a communion spoon.
Holy Days of Obligation & Liturgical Calendar: Click Here
Thirty minutes before Liturgy or by appointment.
The Byzantine Rite has no tradition that includes confessionals. Confessions are held face to face
following the ancient tradition.
THE HOLY MYSTERIES (Sacraments)
In order to carry on His work of redemption “until the end of the world” (Mt. 28:20), our Lord Jesus Christ established the Church, investing it with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33) and all the necessary means of salvation. The most important of those means of salvation are the Sacraments.
Sacrament means something holy, something sacred. In our case it means a sacred rite which, by the power of the Holy Spirit, confers divine grace, i.e. a redeeming power of God on man’s soul. Since the work of the Holy Spirit in man’s soul remains a hidden reality covered with a mystery (Greek: mysterion, secret), we in the Byzantine tradition properly call the Sacraments the Holy Mysteries.
St. John Chrysostom (d. 407) explains: “It is called mystery, because whatwe believe is notthe same as what we see; one thing we see and another we believe. For such is the nature of mysteries.” (Homily on I Cor. 7 :2).
1. In creating man, God made him to His “image and likeness” (Gen. 1 :26) and endowed him with the gift of divine life. After a trial on earth, man was then destined to eternal life with God in heaven. However, through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, man lost the gift of divine life in his soul and thus heaven became closed to him. Instead, man inherited suffering and sorrow, while sin took domination of his soul, leading him to the “eternal judgement”. (Hebr. 6:2).
In His infinitive love and mercy, God decided to save man. He therefore gave “His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (In. 3:16). By his sufferings and death Jesus has taken away the “sins of the world” (In. 1 :29) and obtained salvation for all. Therefore, having been “justified” by the grace of Christ, once more we become “heirs in hope of eternal life.” (Tit 3:7).
2. Jesus Christ came on earth that we “might have (divine) life and have it more abundantly” (In. 10:10). To initiate and to sustain this divine life in our soul He established the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments), which thus become the most important means of our salvation. The seven mysteries satisfy all of the fundamental needs of our spiritual life to which we are born through baptism “of water and the Holy Spirit” (In. 3:5). St. Paul describes the Mystery of Baptism as a “cleansing water of rebirth and renewal (of divine life) by the Holy Spirit” (Tit 3:5).
The simple birth, however, is not enough to stay alive. We must grow and become strong so that we can overcome all of the obstacles to our spiritual advancement. For this reason , through the Mystery of Chrismation (Confirmation), Jesus strengthens us with the “power from on high” (Luke 24:49), i.e., with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Divine life of grace, given to us by baptism. is then sustained and nourished by the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, provided for us in the Holy Eucharist. Holy Communion thus becomes a token ofthe “eternal life” for us (In. 6:54).
These three mysteries are usually referred to as the Mysteries of Initiation, since through them divine life is restored to us and we become closely united with Jesus Christ, making us members of His Mystical Body, the Church (Col. 1 :18). Through them we become initiated into the Church. Consequently, from the very beginning of Christianity, these three mysteries were administered to the converts at the same time.
3. During our earthly pilgrimage we remain exposed to temptations and frequently we become overwhelmed by sin, causing our spiritual sickness. As a remedy against sin and eventual spiritual death (loss of the divine life of grace) our Lord provided us with the Mystery of Repentance, by which our sins are forgiven and our spiritual health is restored. In the instances of serious physical sickness, the Church is ready to comfort us with the Mystery of Anointing, by which our sufferings become united with those of Christ “in hope of life eternal” (Tit 1 :2).
The Holy Anointing cleanses our soul from sin and often restores even our bodily health, as explained by St. James: “The prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, they will be forgiven” (James 5:15).
So that the kingdom of God may expand, our Lord elevated the nuptial union of a Christian couple to the dignity of the Holy Mystery of Marriage, thus endowing them with grace to foster their mutual love (£ph. 5:32-33) and to secure a Christian education of their children (1 Cor 7:14).
The Church carries on Christ’s work of salvation through its ministers, invested by the power of the Holy Spirit, given to them by the imposition of the bishops’ hands. Thus, the Mystery of the Holy Orders provides the Church with the authentic “ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor 4:1), leading the people of God toward salvation.
Archeparchy of Pittsburgh