a parish of the Chicago and Mid-America Diocese of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Very important UPDATE from the Rector!
With a very heavy heart, I must announce that due to the growing pandemic of the Corona virus and Ohio's new state orders to “shelter in place”, our Bishop has decreed to close all churches in our diocese to the public until further notice.
I don’t need to explain how difficult this decision must have been for our Vladika. Be sure that it was also taken with a heavy heart. It was done in order to protect you from harms way. On the bright side, this gives us the opportunity to put more effort into making our homes little churches and improve our spiritual prayer rule at home. If you didn't have an icon corner at home until now, now is the time to make one. Please be assured that the church and us clergy are by no means leaving you at this difficult time. We will continue to pray for you but especially at the holy chalice during the Eucharist which will continue to be celebrated behind closed doors with a minimum staff, not exceeding 10 people. If you are not personally contacted by me, please stay at home and watch the services online. Only clergy, a few singers and 1 reader will be allowed. You can text or email me names for commemoration. Also, if you would like to partake of the Holy Mysteries, please contact me to make an appointment and I will bring Holy Communion to you to your home. We will try our best to continue our lenten journey towards the glorious resurrection of our Lord- Pascha! This is a heavy cross that we have been given this lent. It was given to us by God so that we can draw spiritual lessons from it and grow closer to him and we will bear it unconditionally. Hopefully, during these absent church services we will grow spiritual hunger for them and learn to appreciate our church and our services more in the future. There is an ancient monastic tradition which is still kept at St. Katherine’s monastery on Mt. Sinai. The monks would leave the monastery and go into the desert and practice their monastic struggle at the beginning of great lent, thus depriving themselves of church services and the Eucharist. They would return on Pascha for a joint service altogether and partake of Holy Communion for the first time. We now must also follow their example and pray fervently that God willing we may be able to have Pascha in our church. FEAR NOT, LITTLE FLOCK... (LUKE 12:32) these words of our Lord ring strong with special meaning during these hard times but we must remember them and find comfort in them because God will not leave us. We must pray for each other, we must pray for our clergy and hierarchy & civil authorities who are under a lot of civil pressure. We also must pray for our doctor’s and medical personnel that are on the front lines battling and showing us the best example of self sacrificial love for your neighbor. We must pray for all people who are already infected by this virus and that God keeps us safe and protected from it. I urge you to read the link below of the complete new list of guidelines that just came out today from our Diocese. Glory to God we were able to live stream our service last week on our Facebook page. God willing we will be able to continue to do so for your spiritual edification. Thank you for understanding and ask you for your holy prayers, as all of you are in mine. Thank you.
With Love in Christ,
Link to the latest guidelines during pandemic from our Diocese:
Link to watch the livestream of our services:
Our Cathedral serves all the Sacraments and Services of the Orthodox Church: Confession, Communion, Baptism, Wedding, Holy Unction, Funeral, Panikhida, Molebens, Akathists, House Blessings, etc. Depending on the specifics of each service, they can be served in our Cathedral, as well as at the home or in the hospital (for the sick). Each service should be arranged ahead of time with the Priest. For more information, please contact Fr. Ilia at 440-382-9763
On our sinful earth the holy Church is the only place where we can get away from life's storms and inclemency, from the world's moral filth. The Church is an image of heaven on earth; within the temple the heavenly powers serve invisibly. Remember and know: the Holy Temple is the House of God, in which God Himself is invisibly present. For this reason, our behavior in the temple should correspond to its holiness and its greatness.
1. Enter the church with humility and meekness, so as to leave justified, as the humble publican of the Gospel.
2. When you enter the temple and see the holy icons, think about the fact that the Lord Himself and all the Saints are looking at you; be particularly reverent and have the fear of God.
3. Always come to the beginning of the service, If for some important reason you are late, be careful not to disturb the prayer of those already there. If you come to church during the reading of the Gospel, stand at the entrance doors until the end of the reading: when it is finished, quietly go to your place.
4. When you take your place in the church and others are standing nearby, greet them with a silent nod; never, even with close friends shake hands or ask any questions, Be sincerely modest in church
5, If you come to church with children, see that they behave themselves properly, meekly, that they not be noisy; teach them to understand and know how one should behave in church; accustom them to pray. If the children have to leave the church, tell them to cross themselves and to leave quietly or take them out yourself.
6. Pray in church as if you yourself are participating in the Divine services and not simply attending, that those prayers and hymns which are being read and chanted come from your heart; attentively follow the holy Service, in order to pray together with everyone and to pray for that which the whole Church is praying for.
7. While still at home, before going to church, prepare your money for candles, prosphora and the collection plates; avoid having to make change at the candle counter; this necessitates talking and disturbs the service and those praying.
8. Never, without extreme need, leave the church before the end of the service; this indicates disrespect for the holiness of the church and is a sin before God. If it happens that you do leave early, you should mention this to the priest in confession.
9. Approach Holy Communion humbly and reverently, crossing your hands on your chest; with faith and love receive the Holy Mysteries of God; then, without crossing yourself, kiss the chalice, so as not to bump It accidentally, and quietly return to your place, and do not leave the church without listening to the thanksgiving prayers to the Lord God, after communion.
Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko, +1960)