FOCA Scholarship - 12/30/18
On Sunday, December 30th Wade Hisiro and Melisa Zuro were awarded FOCA (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America) Central PA District Scholarships and National FOCA Scholarships. Our parish "O" Club President John Dotsey made the presentation and shared the history, and philanthropic work accomplished by FOCA over its 90 year history. Congratulations and "Many Years" to Wade and Melissa as they continue their college careers, and especially as they strive to be active Orthodox Christians.
Christmas 2018 - 12/25/18
The faithful of Christ the Saviour (www.CTSHBG.org) gathered on Christmas Day to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and partake of God made flesh for our salvation in the Holy Eucharist! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
(Troparion) Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has shone to the world the Light of wisdom! For by it, those who worshipped the stars, were taught by a Star to adore Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, the Orient from on High. O Lord, glory to Thee!
Christmas Eve 2018 - 12/24/18
The faithful of Christ the Saviour (www.CTSHBG.org) gathered on Christmas Eve to celebrate the Vigil service to proclaim birth of Jesus Christ - God made flesh for our salvation! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
(Kontakion) Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One! Angels, with shepherds, glorify Him! The wise men journey with the star! Since for our sake the Eternal God is born as a little child!
Mitred Archpriest Daniel Ressetar - 12/16/18
On Sunday, December 16th the community of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg, PA) welcomed our Diocesan bishop, His Eminence Archbishop Mark for the Divine Liturgy. At the Liturgy he bestowed the Mitre (priestly crown) on Fr. Daniel Resseter in recognition of his long and distinguished service to the Orthodox Church, our parish, and numerous other religious and civic institutions. Axios! He is worthy! May God grant the Mitred Archpriest Daniel, M. Theodora, and their family many blessed years!
We also welcomed Fr. John Parker (Dean of St. Tikhon Seminary); Dn. Moses Locke, M. Christie and their children (our FOCA Adopted Seminary family, also from St. Tikhon's); as well as Mother Christophora (Abbess of Holy Transfiguration Monastery). At the conclusion of the Liturgy the parish presented the Locke's with items from their Christmas "wish list" - glory to God!
At fellowship the parish presented the Ressetar's with a "get-away" to NYC, and presented M. Theodora with a token of our appreciation for her many years of labor and service in Christ's vineyard - a tiara!
Annual Nativity Play - 12/09/18
On Sunday, December 9th at the conclusion of Liturgy the community of Christ the Saviour blessed a memorial bread in honor of + Ghebremichael Habteghiorghis, as well as the mitre that will be awarded to Fr. Daniel Ressetar this coming Sunday (a gift from our parish family).
At fellowship the Sunday School of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (Harrisburg, PA) held its annual Nativity Play. We are thankful to our dedicated teachers, parents, and students who make such a wonderful effort each year - edifying and entertaining all of us! May God grant them many blessed years! At the conclusion of the program the children were treated to a visit from "St. Nicholas"!
Dr Cyril Jenkins - 11/18/18
On Sunday, November 18, the community of Christ the Saviour welcomed Dr. Cyril Jenkins from the St. Basil Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture at Eastern University to our parish. To learn more about the St. Basil Center, please visit: www.stbasilcotc.org At fellowship we held our annual Parish Ministry Faire, to encourage active discipleship and engagement in our community. Concurrently, our Sunday School students participated in our monthly "Q&A". Glory to God for all things!
Baptism, First Confession, & E. African Fellowship - 11/11/18
On Sunday, November 11th the community at Christ the Saviour celebrated the Baptism of Alexander Lamb, honored our Veterans, recognized ten students who offered their first Confession (and their teachers); then enjoyed our annual Eritrean and Ethiopian Fellowship! Glory to God for His rich gifts - "Lord, it is good for us to be here"!
Being Christian - 10/23/18
On Tuesday, October 23rd the community of Christ the Saviour welcomed Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon Monastery, for a special lecture entitled "Being Christian: Everyday Spirituality in the Modern World". His talk was filled with practical advice, as he made accessible to all, the deep riches of our Orthodox faith and practice. Glory to God for all things!
A recording of Fr. Sergius' talk is available at: https://www.ctshbg.org/lectures.html
Konevets - 10/14/18
On Sunday, October 14th the community of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg, PA) hosted the renowned Konevets Quartet from St. Petersburg, Russia. They sang the responses at the Divine Liturgy and gave a short concert of folk music at our parish fellowship hall following. Our faithful and guests were edified by the heavenly Liturgy, and entertained at the concert. Most importantly our souls were opened to the "beautiful" - which is a pathway to experiencing the richness and beauty God! We look forward to welcoming them back again next year!
Click HERE for a short highlight video!
Students and Teachers - 08/26/18
On Sunday, August 26th our community offered special prayers for our Students and Teachers at beginning of the new academic year. The newly Baptized child of God Marion was "Churched", and received her first Holy Communion, uniting her to our Lord Jesus Christ, and making her a full member of His Body! Following Liturgy our parish Youth Group held a Spaghetti and Meatball Luncheon to help support their programs for the coming year. We are so thankful for all of the generosity provided by our beloved parishioners. Glory to God for all things!
Feast of Transfiguration - 08/06/18
Blessing of “first fruits” - Thou wast transfigured on the mount. O Christ God, revealing Thy glory to Thy disciples as they could bear it. Let Thine everlasting light shine upon us sinners. Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Giver of Light, glory to Thee!
Annual Vehicle Blessing - 07/22/18
On Sunday July 22nd, the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated our annual vehicle blessing in honor of the feast of the great Prophet Elijah (July 20th).
O Lord our God, Who dost ride upon the Cherubim; Who walks on the wings of the wind; Who didst send Thy servant the Prophet Elijah a chariot of fire, and Who with Thine All-Holy Spirit has inspired and guided the human mind to invent various and expedient means of transportation and travel: We give Thee thanks, O Master, for Thou has provided us, Thy servants, with these vehicles to serve our different needs. (Excerpt from the Prayer of Blessing of Vehicles)
Welcome Agnes (Jessica) Priestley - 06/17/18
On Saturday, June 16th and Sunday, June 17th the community of Christ the Saviour welcomed Agnes (Jessica) Priestley into the Orthodox Church through the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation. Following her Chrismation, we also blessed the marriage of the newly illumined and her husband Adam. We pray that God would grant them many years! Glory to God for his rich blessings!
Chrismation and Graduate Recognition - 06/03/18
On Sunday, June 3rd (All Saints) we welcomed Una McManus into the Orthodox Faith through the Sacrament of Holy Chrismation. We pray that God would strengthen her, and keep her "as a plant of truth" in the Orthodox Church. May God grant many years to the newly Illumined handmaiden of God Una and her sponsors, Symeon and Rebecca Jekel. At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy we also recognized our Class of 2018 Graduates. May the Lord continue to guide and bless them, as some continue in their studies, and others begin to apply their education in the workforce! Glory to God for all things!
Iconography May/June 2018
Our community was again blessed to welcome Fr. Theodore and John Jurewicz for several weeks as they completed the Altar and the West walls of our Temple. May God continue to strengthen and inspire them in their sacred work.
* Altar (North Wall)
Melchizedek w/Abraham & Lot
Miracle of the Manna
* Altar (South Wall)
Moses & Aaron in the Holy of Holies
Miracle of the Loaves and Fish
Patrick of Ireland
Basil the Great
Gregory the Theologian
* West/South (by the choir)
King David the Psalmist
John of Damascus
Andrew of Crete
Kassiani the Hymnographer
Pentecost - 05/27/18
From Saturday, May 26th - Sunday, May 27th the faithful of Christ the Saviour celebrated the great and holy feast of Pentecost. Over the course of the weekend Thomas, Tatiana (Jennifer), Grace (Madison), and Hannah Shingara; Johanna (Janice) Donelon; and Anthony Gault were received into the Holy Church - glory to God!
We also welcomed Fr. Daniel and M. Myra Kovalak, who will be attached to our community in retirement, after serving nearly 40 years at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Williamsport. We are so happy to have them as a part of our parish family!
Following the Divine Liturgy and Kneeling Vespers of Pentecost we enjoyed our Annual International Day. We were treated to the cuisine and aesthetic that comprise to our culturally diverse community - united in the Trinity, citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven! A special thanks to coordinator Angie DiFlorio and all of our parishioners who offered food this year!
Troparion of the Feast: Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God; Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit. Through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net// O Lover of man, glory to Thee!
St. Tikhon Seminary Mission Choir - 05/13/18
On May 13th, the Sixth Sunday of Holy Pascha, the St. Tikhon Seminary Mission Choir visited the community of Christ the Saviour and sang the responses at the Divine Liturgy. Fr. Steven Voytovich (Seminary Dean) offered a poignant homily, reminding us that spiritual blindness is only cured by the Illumination of Holy Baptism and Christian living. It was a special joy to welcome back our former choir director, Rdr. James Latimer, and his growing family! Sunday was also Mother's Day, and our parish "O" Club sponsored gifts for all of the women of our parish. Glory to God for all things! Christ is Risen!
St Thomas Sunday - 04/15/18
Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!
Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيح قام!
On Sunday, April 15th the community at Christ the Saviour celebrated our patronal feast - St. Thomas Sunday (Antipascha). We were especially blessed by having hierarch, Archbishop Mark, to celebrate with us, and to set-aside through the laying-on of hands, Sbdn. John Shingara to the Holy Diaconate. Axios! He is Worthy! "Many years" to Dn. John and M. Xenia as they continue to serve our parish, and Christ's Holy Church.
We also want to offer a special thanks to our Men's Club who prepared a delicious meal to celebrate our Parish Feast.
(Aposticha Hymn) Oh, most glorious wonder! Doubt bore certain faith. Thomas said: “Unless I see, I shall not believe!” By touching His side, he blessed the incarnate Son of God, Who had suffered in the flesh, and he proclaimed the resurrected God, crying out with joy: “My Lord and my God, glory to Thee!”
Great and Holy Pascha - 04/08/18
Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!
Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيحقام!
Late Saturday evening (April 7), and “while it was still dark” into Sunday (April 8), our community gathered for the “Feast of feasts, and Holy Day of holy days” - Great and Holy Pascha!
Ode 1 - Canon of Holy Pascha
It is the day of Resurrection, let us be illumined O ye people, Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord, from death unto Life and from earth unto Heaven has Christ our God led us singing the song of Victory! Let us purify our senses, and we shall behold Christ, radiant with the light ineffable of the Resurrection, and shall hear Him say in accents clear, rejoice as we sing the song of victory. For meet it is that the Heavens should rejoice, and that the earth should be glad, and the whole world, visible and invisible, should keep the feast, for Christ, the everlasting joy is Risen!
Burial and Lamentations - 04/06/18
Vespers of Great and Holy Friday (Burial Service)
In the afternoon on Friday, April 6th our community gathered for the Burial Vespers, in which we participate in the death of the Son of God upon the Cross. The Body of our Lord is tenderly removed from the Cross, and wrapped in a burial shroud, assisted by the children of our community. Later the Plaschenitsa (Holy Shroud depicting the Body of our Lord) is processed and placed in the Tomb in the center of the Church and venerated by the faithful!
Matins of Great and Holy Saturday (Lamentations)
In the evening on Friday, April 16th our community gathered for the Matins and Lamentations, in which we sing songs of love and tenderness to our Lord in the Tomb. This service also marks the transition from the solemnity of Holy Friday and our Lord’s Crucifixion and Death, to the first announcements of His harrowing of Hades (Old Testament prophecy of Ezekiel and the resurrection of the “dry bones”; and the Epistle and Gospel lessons), following our return from our procession around the church.
(Holy Friday Burial Vespers Aposticha) Joseph, together with Nicodemus, took Thee down from the Tree, Who clothe Thyself with light as with a garment. He gazed on Thy body – dead, naked, and unburied, and, in grief and tender compassion, he lamented: “Woe is me, my sweetest Jesus! A short while ago, the sun beheld Thee hanging on the Cross, and it hid itself in darkness. The earth quaked in fear at the sight. The veil of the Temple was torn in two. Lo, now I see Thee willingly submit to death for our sake. How shall I bury Thee, O my God? How can I wrap Thee in a shroud? How can I touch Thy most pure body with my hands? What songs can I sing for Thy Exodus, O compassionate One? I magnify Thy Passion. I glorify Thy burial, and Thy holy Resurrection, crying, ‘O Lord, glory to Thee!’
Matins of Great and Holy Friday - 04/05/18
On Thursday, April 5th our community gathered for the Matins of Great and Holy Friday, commonly known as the “12 Passion Gospels”. We were reminded of our Lord’s betrayal, longsuffering in enduring cruel injustice, scourging, and crucifixion for our salvation.
It was a great blessing to have Fr. Seraphim Reynolds of Holy Ascension in Lykens, and Ss. Peter and Paul in Minersville here assisting us!
(Holy Friday 15th Antiphon)
Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Tree. The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns! He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery! He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church, is affixed to the Cross with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a spear.
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ!
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ!
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ!
Show us also, Thy glorious Resurrection!
Palm Sunday - 04/01/18
On Sunday, April 1st the community of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg) celebrated the Feast of the Entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem - Palm Sunday. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy we processed around the church, carrying the palms (and pussy willows) of victory - reminding us that Christ the King has come to defeat death by His death and establish His Kingdom which has no end!
Troparion- By raising Lazarus from the dead before Thy passion, Thou didst confirm the universal resurrection, O Christ God! Like the children with the branches of victory, we cry out to Thee, O Vanquisher of Death: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!
Triumph of Orthodoxy - 02/25/18
On Sunday, February 25th the clergy and faithful of Christ the Saviour marked the first Sunday of Lent by celebrating the Triumph (Sunday) of Orthodoxy with an icon procession. We also asked God's blessing upon Molly Pylypciw who is preparing to participate in the OCF Real Break pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In addition, with the blessing of Archbishop Mark, we installed our newly elected parish council. Glory to God for all things!
2018 Parish Council
Parish Council President - Mark Yerke
Vice President - Sbdn. John Shingara
Recording Secretary - Samantha Lopez
Financial Secretary - John Dotsey
Treasurer - Dn. Peter Staller
Vestrypersons - Paul Hadginske, Alice Mallick, Dave Martin, Joseph McClure, Lorrie Pawlush, Mark Rodak, Gerald White
Auditors - Eleanor Herman and Larry Smith
Triumph of Orthodoxy Vespers - 02/24/18
On Saturday, February 24th the clergy and parishes of the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central PA (OCCSCP) gathered at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church to celebrate Vespers for the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Our guest celebrant and homilist was His Grace, Bishop Neophytos of Nyeri and Mt. Kenya. The responses were led by Fr. Mark Sahady and a choir consisting of members from our local parishes. Following the Pan-Orthodox Vespers we were treated to a Lenten meal by the faithful of Annunciation parish.
Mariamne (Winta) Gebre Baptism - 02/17/18
On Saturday, February 17th the community of Christ the Saviour welcomed Mariamne (Winta) Gebre into the Orthodox Christian Church through the Sacraments of Baptism & Chrismation. Congratulations to her parents Yordanos and Selemawi and all who came together to celebrate her participation in Christ's Death and Resurrection!
Welcome Fr & Mat Oleksa - 02/11/18
On Sunday, February 11th the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the Sunday of the Last Judgement, in preparation for the season of Great Lent. Before the Liturgy Yordanos Gebre received the 40th Day Churching Prayers, and we welcomed her back into the community. In addition, we offered prayers for her daughter Winta, who will soon be Baptized. Our community was also overjoyed to welcome back Fr. Michael Oleksa and his wife M. Xenia, who were visiting from Alaska. In his homily Fr. Michael inspired us to understand the Gospel as an invitation to action - to love as Christ loves us. Glory to God for all things!
Annual River Blessing - 01/21/18
On Sunday, January 21st the Orthodox parishes of Greater Harrisburg gathered at City Island Park for the 10th Annual Pan-Orthodox Great Blessing of the Susquehanna. Amongst those present were clergy and faithful from the following communities:
- Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (OCA) in Harrisburg
- Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission (OCA) in Mechanicsburg
- Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (GOA) in Camp Hill
- St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (SER) in Oberlin
Following the River Blessing, the clergy and faithful gathered at Agia Sophia Coffeehouse and Bookstore (www.agiasophiaharrisburg.com) for fellowship and a soup/chili cook-off.
- Agia Sophia has donated over $35,000 to local charities in its 6 years of ministry!