Archeparchy of Winnipeg

The Liturgy


Our liturgical tradition is based on the experience of the beauty and glory of God’s plan for us. Our ancestors in the faith long ago decided that it was through worship and beauty that the True God was found. The Story of the Conversion of Rus’, as related in the Kyivan Primary Chronicle, focuses on this reality.

Volodymyr, Prince of Rus’, sent out emissaries to find true religion. They went throughout the world and tested various faiths, but reported to their ruler that they had found no glory, … until they arrived in Constantinople. When they returned to Kyiv the emissaries reported to the Prince what had happened there in the great Cathedral of Holy Wisdom — the Haghia Sophia.

“They took us where they worshipped their God, and we did not know whether we were in heaven or upon earth, for there is not upon earth such sight or beauty. This much we do know, that there, God lives among men, and we can never forget that beauty…”

St. Volodymyr accepted Christianity in its Orthodox or Byzantine (Constantinopolitan) form for himself, his boyars (courtiers) and his people, who were baptized in 988. It is through beauty and the glory of God that we still primarily relate to the Lord. Our services are sung and they are never rushed. Even in a tiny parish such as ours, great care is taken to try to preserve and promote beauty and depth in our liturgical life.  However, it is really God who acts in liturgy. At a certain point we need to get out of His way.

Byzantine Liturgy is very sensate. It involves full-bodied singing, processions, many blessings, the repetitive making of the sign of the cross.

At a funeral the casket is open and the faithful approach to kiss the cross which the deceased holds in his hands. All of this is a foretaste of the Kingdom of God.

Funeral in Ukrainian Catholic religion

Ask The Priest

Q    I have a close friend that I am trying to help and I would like to know the traditions of the Ukranian Catholic religion. Could you please let me know the proceedures of the funeral.

A.   Briefly, the proceedures for the funeral are usually in two parts. The first part, called the Parastas, is celebrated on the eve of the day of burial. It consists of hymns, a psalm, a litany and a blessing of the body.The second part of funeral happens on the day of burial. It consists of the hymns of St John Damascene and the beatitudes and incensing of the body before the celebration of Divine Liturgy. After the Divine Liturgy the Prayers of farewell are chanted. This is followed by another Litany and a prayer of dismissal. Often the casket is open. At the cemetery a Panakhyda is again recited before the body is lowered into the grave, which is then sealed with the sign of the cross and prayer. The Funeral Service with the Divine liturgy of St John Chrysostom

For more ‘ASK THE PRIEST’ questions please click here!


The “chotky” or prayer rope (sometimes referred to as the Eastern Rosary) is used in the constant repetition of the “Jesus Prayer” Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.  To hear this sung in Ukrainian click here.

The Book of the Holy Gospels and the Hand Cross on the Holy Table of St. Michael’s Church.

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