On November 17th, 2013, Bishop Gregory made his first visit to Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church in Rankin PA to celebrate the 105th anniversary of the parish with the parishioners.
Photos are courtesy of Christina Duranko.
Parish Council President Joseph Mascilak greets His Grace with the traditional bread and salt.
The Very Reverend John D. Lazarek, pastor of the parish, greets His Grace with the handcross.
His Grace and all the altar servers do not begin the Liturgy until Father John has incensed the faithful. The Hymn to St. Michael is chanted: O Saint Michael, "Who is like God?", Angel in heaven, full of power from God, strength of Christians, glorious protector. O Saint Michael, "Who is like God?",Be to us a guardian, Always we cry out, to you Angel of God, guide us to heaven. O Saint Michael, you are truly great, protect us with your wings, so we may reach, our eternal home, the Kingdom of heaven. O Saint Michael, that we too may be, with the heavenly choirs, glorifying God, One in the Trinity, with them forever.
As the hymn to Saint Michael is completed, the clergy and altar servers proceed to the Sanctuary to begin the Liturgy.
The procession with the Gospel as the Beatitudes are chanted.
Following the ancient custom, the women of the parish hold the Gospel for Father John, and the men hold a Troitsa and candles.
His Grace offers a homily on today's Gospel.
The beautiful interior of St. Michael's Church.
After the Great Entrance procession, His Grace prays for the living.
Father John offers the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to most of the faithful in attendance. Among the Communion hymns sung is one that is a particular favorite of the parish, "You are the God Who Creates Miracles" in both English and Church Slavonic.
"Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, unto ages of ages."
His Grace offers the final blessing to conclude the Liturgy.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, as it was his first visit and the parish anniversary, His Grace took time to introduce himself to the parishioners .
His Grace requested all present to pose for a group photo. Some visitors from East Pittsburgh, Homestead, and Pittsburgh (North Side) joined the St. Michael's parish family for this photo.
After the photo, for most parishioners, this was their first opportunity to greet their new bishop as he distributed the Antidoron, while Father John Brancho offered Mirovanije.
This was their first opportunity for Joan to greet our new bishop, and he offered her a special blessing.
Two life-long members of the parish, George and Bill greet Bishop Gregory for the first time. Bill's daughter Becky is also in the photo with his granddaughter Brianna, and His grandsons Paul III ("Trey") and Nicholas, who served as altar-servers, stood on each side of His Grace.
Joining His Grace for the Liturgy were Seminarian George Ellis, Subdeacon David Urban, Sacristan Gregory Bodrog, Father John Lazarek, altar servers Nicholas and Nicholas, Father Paul Herbert, altar server Paul III (Trey), Father John Brancho, Sacristan assistants Mark Bodrog and George Hrabchak and Seminarian Will Bennett.
Zoë Mehalik presents roses as she greets His Grace.
After greeting His Grace with flowers, he poses with Zoë Mehalik.
Nearly one hundred people attended the anniversary banquet held at the Edgewood Country Club.
Very Rev. Robert Prepelka, Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery, offered remarks during the banquet program.
The main address was offered by His Grace, Bishop Gregory.
Close up of the Altar at St. Michael's.
A view of the beautiful interior of St Michael's Church showing the depiction of the Last Judgment on the ceiling and the beautiful iconostas which was hand carved by Jan Luhowiak, the grandfather of Paňi Diana Lazarek.