Sunday, September 8, 2013

Odpust celebration in Toronto

Summer slowly closes its door, yet on Sunday, September 8th, it almost felt like summer was still in high gear. All the kitchen helpers were there since the early morning, even if the actual odpust liturgy was not to start until 1pm. There was an early liturgy especially celebrated for all those who cooked and prepared the banquet.
The main celebration started with a procession from the back of the church: leading with a cross was bearer followed by the priests: Fr. Andrew Kormanik, Fr. Marek Novicky, Fr. John Girhiny and a special guest, Fr. Johan Meijer, a Dutch Redemptorist who was visiting Canada. As soon as the procession started, the faithful began to sing “Vosel Jesi Archijereju” and H.E. Bishop John Pazak, C.Ss.R. walked in blessing everyone. At the tetrapod, Bishop once again gave blessings to the four corners of the world using the trikirion and dikirion candles.

Our liturgies are all very moving and deeply spiritual. Since we do not use any musical instruments, the beautiful singing is done by all the faithful. There is something almost magical in being a part of our liturgy. The sermon was given in English by H.E. Bishop John and in Slovak by Fr. Marek Novicky. Both of them spoke about the solemnity and the significance of the Feast Day and reminded us about the importance of our devotion to the Mother of God.

Following the liturgy, priests, Bishop John and the faithful proceeded to the church hall. The hall was nicely decorated and the tables looked very inviting to the guests. Fr. Meijer was not able to attend the banquet since he had a previous commitment, however Fr. Ron Comeau and Fr. Jozej Mucha joined the guests for the wonderful banquet. Starting the program were senior dancers from Vychodna Dance Group who performed four folk dances. Grace before meal was done by H.E. Bishop John and the head table was introduced as well as mention of guests from near and far; even as far as Kosice, Slovakia. Dinner was excellent, service was great, all had a wonderful time and it was great to celebrate this Marian feast with parishioners and guests.

Everyone was happy with the number of guests who showed up and after all the acknowledgements and thanks to the priests, parishioners, guests and volunteers who worked for three days to make sure everything turned out perfectly, it was time for most guests to return home and a handful who stayed behind cleaned up and returned the hall to its normal state.

Thank you all for a wonderful celebration and we hope to see all of you next year.

Slava Isusu Christu! Slava na viky! Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

Mary Siroky - Snell


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