Choir Workshop - 05/28/2023
The community of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church was blessed to welcome back Dr. Nicholas Reeves for a choir workshop for our adults and youth from Friday, May 26 through Sunday, May 28. During the Sunday Divine Liturgy we began an intentional process by which our youth choir will be singing select hymns with the full choir - and identifying those youth who have a vocation to join the full choir. May it be blessed!
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy Elizabeth Kellachow received the St. George Scouting Award for her successful completion of study and reflection on the Orthodox faith. May God grant her many blessed years!
Teacher Appreciation - 05/21/2023
On Sunday, May 21 the community of Christ the Saviour honored our Church School Teachers at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. We offered a special thanks to Lorrie Pawlush for her many years of dedicated service as our Director, and our prayers for Sophia Kellachow as she fully assumes this important ministry. Our teachers and students marked the end of the academic year with a special celebration filled with food, fellowship, and fun! Glory to God for all things!
Coronation Presentation - 05/04/2023
On Thursday, May 4 the community of Christ the Saviour enjoyed a special presentation by Rdr. Christopher Rakowski on the rite of coronation - which was first composed, pre-schism, by St. Dunstan of Canterbury (909-988 AD).
Watch the recording at https://www.ctshbg.org/rdrchristopherrakowskimay2023
St. Tikhon Seminary Mission Choir - 04/30/2023
On April 30, the 3rd 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. John Parker (Seminary Dean) offered an inspiring homily, and the choir lifted our hearts as they sang not only beautifully, but prayerfully! Our faithful especially enjoyed learning more about the seminarians at the fellowship hour. Glory to God for all things! Christ is risen!
Rebuilding Together Harrisburg - 04/29/2023
On Saturday, April 29 over 30 members of the Christ the Saviour community partnered together with Hummelstown UCC as part of the Rebuilding Together Harrisburg service day - http://rtgh.org/ . This was a wonderful way for us to offer "love in action" to neighbors in need. In a few short hours, much was accomplished by God's grace. Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
St Thomas Sunday - 04/23/2023
Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!
Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيح قام!
On Sunday, April 23rd the community at Christ the Saviour celebrated our patronal feast - St. Thomas Sunday (Antipascha).
(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!”
Bright Monday - 04/17/2023
The community of Christ the Saviour welcomed clergy and faithful from our local Orthodox parishes to celebrate Liturgy on Bright Monday. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Paschal Kontakion: "Thou didst descend into the tomb, O Immortal, Thou didst destroy the power of death. In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming, “Rejoice!” to the Myrrhbearing Women, granting peace to Thine Apostles, and bestowing Resurrection on the fallen."
Great and Holy Pascha - 04/16/2023
Christ is Risen! Христос Воскресе!
Χριστός Ανέστη! المسيحقام!
Late Saturday evening (April 15), and “while it was still dark” into Sunday (April 16), 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!
Holy Saturday - 04/15/2023
Great and Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy with 15 Old Testament Readings; Glory to God, for allowing us to be witnesses of the reception of Patrick (Will) and Maria (Dana) Kenny into the Orthodox Church through the Mystery of Chrismation!
"Arise O God and judge the earth, for to Thee belong all the nations!"
Holy Friday - 04/14/2023
Burial Vespers & Lamentations of Holy Saturday at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church, Harrisburg, PA
(sung of Holy Friday evening)
"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!’”
Holy Wednesday - 04/12/2023
On Holy Wednesday (April 12) the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Unction - interceding the Lord’s mercy, and the healing of soul and body.
(Excerpt from the Third Prayer of Holy Unction) Yes, Lord, send forth from heaven your healing power; touch the body, quench the fever, calm the suffering and chase away every lurking infirmity. Be the physician of your servants; raise them up from their bed of pain and their couch of distress; give them to your Church safe and sound, well-pleasing to you and doing your will.
Holy Tuesday - 04/11/2023
From Tuesday April 11 - Wednesday April 12, His Eminence Archbishop Mark made an Archpastoral visit to the community of Christ the Saviour. He led us in the Bridegroom Matins on Tuesday evening, and the Liturgy of the PreSanctified Gifts on Wednesday morning. Eis polla eti Despota!
(Troparion) Behold! the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death, and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. But rouse yourself, crying: "Holy! Holy! Holy! art Thou, O our God. Through the Theotokos, have mercy on us!"
Palm Sunday - 04/09/2023
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us!
On Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9 the faithful of Christ the Saviour (Harrisburg) celebrated the Great Feast of the Entrance of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday). At Liturgy we welcomed Jeanne Kormushoff into the Orthodox Church through the Mystery of Chrismation! May God grant her many years!
(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!
First Confession Class - 04/02/2023
On Sunday, April 2 several children who have been studying throughout the past few months to make their first Holy Confession received a prayer book to commemorate their first confession the evening before (Saturday, April 1). A special thanks to our instructors Fr. Aaron Rutz, M. Myra Kovalak, and Christina Yerke; and to the St. Mary Altar Guild for sponsoring the prayer books. We hope that each of us will be renewed in the great joy that comes from the Mystery of Holy Confession - the great gift Christ has given to His Church which allows us to be healed, forgiven, and reunited with Him.
ECM Goal Setting Workshop - 03/29/2023
Since September of 2022 five members of our parish family (Jaclynn Choma, Symeon Jekel, Sophia Kellachow, Lydia Mantle, and Fr. Stephen Vernak) have been participating in the Effective Christian Ministry (ECM) Cohort program offered by Y2AM (https://effectivechristianministry.org/cohort/).
ECM's mission is "To create transformative parish ministries for today’s young people living in today’s culture who are facing today’s challenges." Each week our team has been learning new tools to more effectively engage our youth and young adults, to learn about their needs, and the practices of faith that can help us draw ourselves and them closer to Jesus Christ.
From Wed, March 22 - Fri, March 24 we were joined by our ECM Coach, Emmanuel Maginas, for a goal setting workshop, to begin to develop our one year ministry plan for implementation in our parish, for the benefit of the young people in our care. Glory to God for all things - we can't wait to share more soon!
Lenten Lecture Series - 03/29/2023
Over the past three weeks our community has been blessed to hear members of our parish family present on the topic of "Prayer" for our 2023 Lenten Adult Education Series.
+ Tues, March 14: Rdr. Matthew (Chet) Lubecki - Prayer and Stillness
+ Tues, March 21: Fr. Aaron Rutz - Prayer in the Presence of Icons
+ Tues, March 28: Symeon (Cliff) Jekel - Prayer as Dialogue in the Psalter
This coming Tues, April 4 - our final session will feature Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk, Dean of St. Stephen Cathedral (Philadelphia), who will offer our final session on "Human Sickness and Prayers for Healing".
If you would like to listen to the prior talks you can access them at: https://ctshbg.org/lectures
Lenten Vespers - 03/26/2023
On Sunday, March 26 the community of Christ the Saviour hosted our local Orthodox parishes for the Fourth Sunday of Great and Holy Lent. Fr. Leonid Schmidt, pastor of the Gettysburg Orthodox Mission, delivered a beautiful homily reflecting on the Ladder of Divine Ascent, and gave some practical advice on how to avoid the trap of thinking of the spiritual life as "climbing a ladder of success" but rather as an incremental turning towards Christ. Following the Vespers our Altar Guild hosted a wonderful reception! Glory to God for all things!
Listen to the homily at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syFMahb7Kmo&feature=youtu.be
Farewell Fr. Aaron and M. Tatiana - 03/26/2023
On Sunday, March 26 (the leavetaking of Annunciation and St. John of the Ladder), the community of Christ the Saviour offered a fond and loving farewell to Fr. Aaron and M. Tatiana Rutz; they are moving to Canton, OH where he will be the rector at Assumption Orthodox Church (link). It has been our great privilege over the past 18 months to welcome them as newly-weds, and witness Fr. Aaron's ordination from reader to the Holy Priesthood. We will miss them in the various ways they have offered their gifts to Christ through our community, their warmth and charm as a couple, and Fr. Aaron's wonderful homilies. We ask that God will continue to bless them as they begin their assignment to the faithful in Canton. Many blessed years! Axios!
Sunday of Orthodoxy - 03/05/2023
On Sunday, March 5th the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the first Sunday of Great Lent (the Triumph of Orthodoxy) in thanksgiving to God for His many blessings. At the Liturgy we enrolled five catechumens, celebrated a procession commemorating the restoration of the holy icons, and with the blessing of Archbishop Mark administered the oath of office to our newly elected parish council. Glory to God for all things!
This is the Faith of the Apostles.
This is the Faith of the Fathers.
This is the Faith of the Orthodox.
This is the Faith which has established the Universe.
Triumph of Orthodoxy - 03/04/2023
On Saturday, March 4 the community of Christ the Saviour was blessed to host the clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Council of Churches of South Central PA (OCCSCP) to celebrate the Vespers for the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Our guest homilist was His Eminence Archbishop Mark of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern PA (OCA), who shared an intimate testimony of the Triumph of Orthodoxy in his life, and encouraged us to engage our faith as a whole person, in loving response to the Living God who became Incarnate and gave Himself for us. At the conclusion of the Vespers Shelley Brooks, the Director of the Bethesda Women and Children Mission spoke about their ministry, and the partnership that has been cultivated between it and our local Orthodox community over the past many years. Finally, we were treated to a Lenten meal prepared by the faithful of our parish. Glory to God for all things!
River Blessing - 01/22/2023
On Sunday, January 22nd the Orthodox parishes of Greater Harrisburg gathered at City Island Park for the 14th Annual Pan-Orthodox Great Blessing of the Susquehanna, in which we ask the Lord to bless the waters, and to heal us and our community!
Participating were clergy and faithful from the following parishes:
- Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church (OCA) in Harrisburg
- Holy Apostles Orthodox Church (OCA) in Mechanicsburg
- Holy Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Church (SER) in Lebanon
- 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 Holy Trinity Cathedral for a delicious luncheon and wonderful fellowship. Glory to God for all things!
Strategic Planning Retreat - 01/21/2023
On Saturday, Jan 21 the Strategic Planning Team (SPT) at Christ the Saviour gathered for their final planning retreat. It was a blessing to welcome back our engaging, energetic, and eminently qualified facilitator Bill Marianes of Stewardship Calling and Orthodox Ministry Services. In the coming months the Implementation Team will begin building their plan and inviting more of our parishioners to engage. The three main areas of focus are:
- Education and Liturgical Engagement
- Stewardship (Time, Talent, and Treasure)
- Community Outreach and Evangelism
We are so grateful for the collective wisdom and sacrificial effort of our SPT! Many years!
Theophany - 01/05/2023
On Thursday, January 5th the community of Christ the Saviour celebrated the Compline and the Great Blessing of Water for Theophany. Glory to God for His glorious Appearance, and His rich gifts!
(Kontakion) Today Thou hast shown forth to the world, O Lord, and the light of Thy countenance has been marked on us. Knowing Thee, we sing Thy praises. Thou hast come and revealed Thyself, O unapproachable Light.
St Basil's Day - 01/01/2023
On Sunday, January 1st the community of Christ the Saviour rejoiced in the commemoration of the Circumcision of Christ (8th day of Christmas), St. Basil the Great, and our Civil New Year. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy an abundance Vasilopita (St. Basil's bread) were offered by parishioners in honor of the saint and with petitions for the upcoming New Year. Glory to God for all things!