THE ICONOSTASIS: The Iconostasis is an altar screen or wall which, in our church, separates the Sanctuary from the nave. The Sanctuary is where the Eucharist is celebrated, which symbolizes the Divine world. It is separated from the nave which is the part reserved for the believers and symbolizes the human world. The iconostasis is the most distinctive feature of Eastern Catholic Church. It has three openings: the royal doors in the center and two smaller doors called deacon doors. The royal doors are flanked by the icons of Christ (on the right) and the Mother of God (with Christ) on the viewer's left. On the far right is the patronal icon of the parish, Holy Family, and in the far left, is the icon of St. Nicholas.
WHO WE ARE: While most Catholics only think of the Catholic Church as being comprised of the “Roman Catholic” Church, there are, in fact, almost 22 different “churches” which comprise the “Catholic” Church. The largest and best known, of those churches is the “Roman” Catholic Church. However, the next largest church within the Catholic Church is the “Ukrainian- Byzantine” Church. We are Catholics in union with the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, and a successor of the apostle Peter. By virtue of our communion with the Church of Rome, we are a Catholic Church who shares the same faith, beliefs and sacraments with other sister Churches. However, each Church has its own way of expressing the Faith through the Liturgy and ceremonies based on unique customs and traditions. Jesus Christ founded His Church through the Apostles. By the grace received from God at Pentecost, the Apostles established faith communities or churches throughout the ancient world. St. Paul founded the church of Antioch; St. Peter and St. James, the church of Jerusalem; St. Andrew, the church of Constantinople; St. Mark, the Church of Alexandria; St. Peter and St. Paul, the Church of Rome. As they preached the Gospel in different parts of the world, they adapted the ceremony of the Liturgy to the customs and music of the local people. As a result, four great centers of Christianity emerged with their distinctive liturgical customs, but rooted and expressing the same Faith. These centers were located in the cities of Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome and Alexandria. In the beginning of the fourth century when the capital of the Roman Empire was moved to the city of Byzantium and renamed Constantinople, an adaptation of the Antiochean tradition of celebrating the Liturgy was made. A new center emerged in Constantinople, from where the Christian faith spread via Bulgaria among the Slavic people. Later, in the 16th and 17th centuries, some Eastern Churches including the Church of Ukraine reestablished their communion with the Church of Rome, yet continue to celebrate a distinct Liturgy and follow own spirituality, theology and discipline.