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17441His Eminence Metropolitan Antony Enthroned

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Jan 27, 2013
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      His Eminence Metropolitan Antony Enthroned at St. Andrew the First
      Called Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral as the 4th Metropolitan of the UOC
      of the USA

      Silver Spring, MD - His Eminence Metropolitan Antony was enthroned on
      January 26, 2013, as the fourth Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox
      Church of the USA during a magnificent and traditional ceremony at St.
      Andrew the First Called Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring,
      MD. The Enthronement services were attended by more than 500 faithful
      and about 70 clergymen of the Metropolia and many visitors from across
      the country from various Orthodox and Catholic jurisdictions.

      On Saturday morning, the procession of hierarchs took place from the
      parish residence to the cathedral. In attendance, representing the
      Orthodox faithful of the North America were His Eminence Archbishop
      Demetrios – Exharch of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Archbishop of the
      Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; Metropolitan Yuriy of the
      Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada; His Grace Bishop Daniel – President
      of Consistory and Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the
      Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA; His Grace Bishop Andriy of the
      Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada; His Grace Bishop Pankratiy of Greek
      Orthodox Metropolis of Mexico; His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Antiochian
      Orthodox Christian Archdiocese; His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel of
      Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America; His Grace Bishop
      Melchizidek, His Grace Bishop Michael, His Grace Bishop Irenee of the
      Orthodox Church in America. Bishops from the Roman Catholic, Byzantine
      Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic churches also were in attendance (Most
      Rev. Metropolitan Stefan Soroka of Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of
      Philadelphia; Most Rev. Bishop Paul Chomnycky of Ukrainian Catholic
      Diocese of Stamford, CT; Most Rev. Bishop Basil Losten – bishop-emeritus
      of Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Stamford, CT; Rev. Monsignor
      Jean-Francois Lantheaume – assistant to the Papal Nuncio; Rev. Avelino
      Gonzales – Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC).

      Metropolitan Yuriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada delivered
      a sermon in both Ukrainian and English languages reflecting upon the
      sacred vocation of a bishop in the life of the Church and stressing the
      importance of spiritual fatherhood in the life of parish communities
      under the spiritual care of Metropolitan Antony.

      At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, responses to which were chanted
      by St. Andrew’s choir under the leadership of Hryhoriy Olijnyk,
      Metropolitan-elect Antony was led to the Ambo of the cathedral and the
      results of the Extraordinary Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of
      the USA were pronounced by the President of the Consistory of the UOC of
      the USA – His Grace Bishop Daniel, who prayerfully exclaimed AXIOS, to
      which the congregation in unison responded AXIOS. Metropolitan Yuriy and
      Bishop Daniel formally vested the new Metropolitan in his blue Mantia of
      the Metropolitan and a white klobuk, a symbol of purity, was presented
      to the Metropolitan by Bishop Daniel. Finally, His Eminence Archbishop
      Demetrios handed Metropolitan Antony the pastoral staff, signifying his
      pastoral and disciplinary responsibilities. In conclusion, the
      Archbishop presented Metropolitan Antony with a letter from His
      All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

      The newly appointed Metropolitan expressed his will and hopes to carry
      on the remarkable work of his predecessors, especially Metropolitan
      Constantine of blessed memory, as well as preserving and continuing
      transmitting the Ukrainian Orthodox traditions and cultural heritage.

      “Your Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Your Eminence Metropolitan Yurij,
      Your Grace Bishop Daniel, all my brother hierarchs here sharing in this
      momentous moment in the life of our Holy Church, my dear brother clergy
      – priests, deacons, subdeacons, our pani-dobrodiyky, seminarians and all
      of you, the loving faithful who have come to participate – not just
      witness – but to participate in this historical day in the life of the
      Church – not my own life – but the life of the Church.

      I thank you for that participation and your proclamation of “Axios”,
      which translated is “Worthy”. As I was at the moment of my ordination
      into all the ranks of clergy – the deaconate, the priesthood and the
      episcopacy – at hearing this proclamation, today I am humbled. Humbled
      to not just intellectually absorb…but to feel the trust and the hope
      embodied in that proclamation and I pray to God Almighty that I may –
      however insignificantly – live up to that trust and that hope. Axios –
      it is a term filled with meaning (as I once heard or read and I
      apologize for not remembering where or when). Axios – it is both an
      affirmation by the clergy and the faithful gathered together at any
      ordination, but more importantly it is a goal to be achieved!
      “Worthiness” is not something automatically “given” by those proclaiming
      it at any given moment, it is a process – a lifelong struggle that is
      only fully realized in the Kingdom of God. It is a goal and a directive
      from God. I ask that you be of assistance to me in remembering this –
      that the “Axios” you proclaimed today is a goal and a directive from God
      – expressed through you and inspired, hopefully, by the Holy Spirit. I
      extend my most sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all of you here
      gathered for the natural completion of our Church’s ancient process of
      episcopal election – the enthronement of a new Prime Hierarch –

      Since the day of my election during our Special Sobor on 6 October at
      our Metropolia Center in New Jersey and the official announcement on 31
      October at the Patriarchal Seminary in Halki by His All-Holiness
      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in behalf of the Holy Synod of
      Constantinople of my election, most of you have already expressed you’re
      your warm personal greetings and more importantly, have not forgotten me
      in your prayers as I prepared for this day. I have felt the consequences
      of those prayers in the form of a peace and comfort – in more than a
      common way – as the initial trepidation and horror of the prospects of
      entering into this office have melted away into the certain knowledge
      that you possess such a desire to walk this path at my side.

      I would ask that your powerful prayers continue for the salvation of my
      soul because I need them more than you can possibly imagine. As I said
      at my election: in my human weakness, I have often been self-assured
      that I am offering myself as a gift to God in all that I attempt to do
      as His priest or His Bishop, while in reality, it is GOD, Who gifts
      Himself to me……and so frequently…..and without hesitation or limitation.
      When I, a simple human being offer myself to God, there always seem to
      be limits or contingencies to the offer – but He offers Himself without
      such. I feel myself at this moment encompassed in His Grace – and I
      cannot begin to express to you the joy of that feeling. I pray that your
      joy is as all-encompassing as is mine and that it will abound throughout
      all the years that I have left to serve Him and you. May we together
      work in His Name and for His Glory so that, in the words of His
      All-Holiness, we may experience “growth and strength, from grace to grace”.

      A reception for all the faithful and later a banquet, hosted by the
      Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and led by the
      Master of Ceremonies for the day - Very Rev. Bazyl Zawierucha, followed
      in the great hall of the cathedral’s community center. Hierarchs of
      Orthodox and Catholic Churches, Archons of the Ecumenical Throne,
      Ukrainian diplomats (Ambassador of Ukraine to the USA – His Excellency
      Oleksander Motsyk), representatives of the Church’s main organizations:
      Sr. and Jr. Ukrainian Orthodox League, United Ukrainian Orthodox
      Sisterhoods, St. Andrew Society, and leaders of Ukrainian Diaspora
      community, among them representatives of Ukrainian National Credit
      Union, the pastor of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver
      Spring, MD Very Rev. Volodymyr Steliak and the parish board of
      adminsitration of the cathedral congregation greeted Metropolitan Antony
      and presented him with numerous ecclesiastical gifts.

      In conclusion of the banquet, His Grace Bishop Daniel reflected upon the
      faith journey of Metropolitan Antony and the personal impact that His
      Eminence had on the formation of priestly life of Bishop Daniel,
      presenting to those in attendance the newly installed Prime Hierarch of
      the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA – His Eminence Metropolitan

      “In accepting the leadership of this Metropolia, I accept the yoke of
      servant-hood… By the grace of God, new opportunities lie ahead for the
      Metropolia and the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and in
      Diaspora — new opportunities to encounter our neighbors, new
      opportunities to evangelize, new opportunities to draw the world into
      the Apostolic net of salvation. May God grant us the same ambition that
      burned within Saint Paul, to preach the Gospel where Christ was not
      previously known.”

      On Sunday, January 27, 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, assisted
      by His Grace Bishop Daniel and the Clergy of Metropolia, presided over
      the Divine Liturgy, for the first time as Metropolitan of the Ukrainian
      Orthodox Church of the USA.