HOLY RESURRECTION ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL
(Orthodox Church in America)
591 North Main Street Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
WELCOME TO OUR CHURCH COMMUNITY!

HOLY RESURRECTION ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL is a parish community of the Diocese of Philadelphia & Eastern Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Our bishop, Archbishop MARK (Maymon), provides spiritual oversight for our community. The parish community was founded in 1892 by Fr. Alexis Toth (now a canonized saint in the Orthodox Church).

+MARK, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania

Copy the link below for Archbishop Mark's Paschal message. 

https://www.doepa.org/files/Palm-Sunday-2024.pdf

Youth Camp Volunteers Needed

Volunteers and Counselors Needed! | Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania (doepa.org)

Encyclical from the All American Council for July of 2022, https://www.oca.org/holy-synod/statements/holy-synod/holy-synod-issues-statement-on-same-sex-relationships-and-sexual-identity

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS...

 

Follow the Diocese on Instagram: Follow us @oca_doepa or OCA Diocese of Eastern PA

 

 

 

WORSHIP, PRAYER and SERVICE SCHEDULE
Regular Weekly Services (Unless otherwise noted) See Construction note!

Until further notice services will be held at Holy Trinity in Plains due to construction at the Cathedral!

Saturday-  Great Vespers 4:00 p.m.

Sunday-    Prayer of the Hours 8:40 am  &  Divine Liturgy 9:00 a.m.

Eve of Major Feast Days - Great Vespers 6:00 pm (followed by holy Confession), see DOEPA Directive 

Major Feast Days -  Divine Liturgy 9:00 a.m. 

Rector: Fr. Gregory G. White Sr. 570-822-7725 gregory.white@stots.edu

Mitred Archpriest Vladimir Petorak: Pastor Emeritus

Protodeacon: Sergei Kapral

Mr. David Hutz: Board of Directors President

Catechism Classes - For those who are interested in finding out more about the Holy Orthodox Church or how to go about joining, classes are offered on a continual / rotating basis. For more information contact Fr. Gregory at 570-822-7725 or email him at:  gregory.white@stots.edu

 Daily Scripture Readings - Orthodox Church in America (oca.org)

Study Group & Recommended Reading

Our Orthodox Christian study group will continue after Pascha:

The Heavenly Banquet, Understanding the Divine Liturgy, by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis, Orthodox Witness Press, ISBN 978-0-90778970-1-8

If you have always wanted to know why the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is celebrated the way it is join us.

 

A five book series: Revelation, The Seven Golden Seals by Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios ISBN 978-0-9851915-2-8, Zoe Press, Monday nights @ 6:30 p.m. held in the hall of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral 591 N. Main St. Wilkes-Barre, PA. Bring your Orthodox Study Bible! First time visitors should call ahead of time to confirm the weekly schedule. 

Many of the following books are rated four to five stars. These books are recommended reading for those who want to know more about the Holy Orthodox Faith and Christs' Church! If you take the time to read you will find out that the Church still exists today.  James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and without reproach; and it shall be given him."

Information on Mount Athos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Athos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mXl8C4-M_4&t=15s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D8OxrSZZU8&t=361s

Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells by Matthew Gallatin, St. Valdimir's Seminary Press, ISBN 978-1-888212-28

https://www.svspress.com/

The Truth, What Every Roman Catholic Should Know About the Orthodox Church by Clark Carlton, Regina, Salisbury, MA

The Faith, Understanding Orthodox Christianity, An Orthodox Catechism also by Clark Carlton 

The Way, What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Faith also by Clark Carlton

Knowledge of God by Dr. Harry Boolas, St. Tikhon's Seminary Press ISBN 978-1-878997-83-8

Current members of the Holy Orthodox Faith, or the more advanced inquirer are encouraged to also check out the following titles. They will help with your understanding of who Jesus Christ is... What happened to the early Church?  Does it still exist?  What's Orthodox Salvation all about? 

Matthew The Poor, Orthodox Prayer Life, The Interior Way, by Father Matta El-Meskeen, St. Valdimirs Press, ISBN 978-0-88141-250-5

The Soul's Longing An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Biblical Interpretation by Dr. Mary Ford ISBN 978-0-9905029-6-8 

A must read for those that struggle with Biblical Interpretation in this day and age of Denominationalism. Read how the early Church understood the Holy Scripture and it's Tradition. 

The Orthodox Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishing. Full of commemtary, teachings, references and study articles ISBN 978-0-7180-0359-3 

Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan Nafpaktos Hierotheos, Birth of the Theotokos Monastery ISBN 978-960-7070-20-3 

Passions and Virtues According to St. Gregory Palamas by Anestis Keselopoulos, St. Tikhon's Seminary Press,                     ISBN 1-878997-75-0  

Acquiring the Mind of Christ by Archimandrite Serguis, St. Tikhon's Monastery Press, ISBN 978-0-995029-9-9 

https://sttikhonsmonastery.org/

Glory and Honor, Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage by Dr. David Ford, Dr. Mary Ford and Alfred Kentigern Siewers. Editors, St. Valdimirs Seminary Press, ISBN 9789-0-8841-540-1. A must read before you get married! 

Angels and Demons by Dr. Harry Boosalis, ISBN 978-1-878997-83-8 

Holy Traditon by Dr. Harry Boosalis, ISBN 978-0-9884574-2-3 

Orthodox Spiritual Life According to Saint Silouan the Anthonite by Dr. Harry Boosalas, St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, ISBN 978-1-878997-60-9

https://www.stspress.com/

Man the Target of God by Archimandrite Zacharias, Mount Tabor Publishing 

The following series of titles expand even more on Wisdom and Spirituality inspired by the Holy Spirit by the Monastic life on Mount Athos. The three stages of Orthodox Christian Salvation; Purification, Illumination and Deification are outlined throughout these timeless resources.  

Remember Thy First Love by Archimandrite Zacharias, Mount Tabor Publishing 

Enlargement of the Heart by Archimandrite Zacharias, Mount Tabor Publishing 

The Hidden Man of the Heart by Archimandrite Zacharias, Mount Tabor Publishing  

Saint Silouan the Anthonite by Archimandrite Sophrony, Mount Tabor Publishing  

http://mountthabor.com/

Information on Mount Athos, also posted above!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Athos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mXl8C4-M_4&t=15s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D8OxrSZZU8&t=361s

ABOUT THE UPCOMING FEAST...

HOLY PASCHA: The Resurrection of Our Lord

Pascha (Easter)

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith; receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.
(Sermon of Saint John Chrysostom, read at Paschal Matins)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the center of the Christian faith. Saint Paul says that if Christ is not raised from the dead, then our preaching and faith are in vain (I Cor. 15:14). Indeed, without the resurrection there would be no Christian preaching or faith. The disciples of Christ would have remained the broken and hopeless band which the Gospel of John describes as being in hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. They went nowhere and preached nothing until they met the risen Christ, the doors being shut (John 20: 19). Then they touched the wounds of the nails and the spear; they ate and drank with Him. The resurrection became the basis of everything they said and did (Acts 2-4): “. . . for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39).

The resurrection reveals Jesus of Nazareth as not only the expected Messiah of Israel, but as the King and Lord of a new Jerusalem: a new heaven and a new earth.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. . . the holy city, new Jerusalem. And I heard a great voice from the throne saying “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people. . . He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away (Rev. 21:1-4).

In His death and resurrection, Christ defeats the last enemy, death, and thereby fulfills the mandate of His Father to subject all things under His feet (I Cor. 15:24-26).

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing (Rev. 5: 12)

THE FEAST OF FEASTS

The Christian faith is celebrated in the liturgy of the Church. True celebration is always a living participation. It is not a mere attendance at services. It is communion in the power of the event being celebrated. It is God’s free gift of joy given to spiritual men as a reward for their self-denial. It is the fulfillment of spiritual and physical effort and preparation. The resurrection of Christ, being the center of the Christian faith, is the basis of the Church’s liturgical life and the true model for all celebration. This is the chosen and holy day, first of sabbaths, king and lord of days, the feast of feasts, holy day of holy days. On this day we bless Christ forevermore (Irmos 8, Paschal Canon).

PREPARATION

Twelve weeks of preparation precede the “feast of feasts.” A long journey which includes five prelenten Sundays, six weeks of Great Lent and finally Holy Week is made. The journey moves from the self-willed exile of the prodigal son to the grace-filled entrance into the new Jerusalem, coming down as a bride beautifully adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2) Repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and study are the means by which this long journey is made.

Focusing on the veneration of the Cross at its midpoint, the lenten voyage itself reveals that the joy of the resurrection is achieved only through the Cross. “Through the cross joy has come into all the world,” we sing in one paschal hymn. And in the paschal troparion, we repeat again and again that Christ has trampled down death—by death! Saint Paul writes that the name of Jesus is exalted above every name because He first emptied Himself, taking on the lowly form of a servant and being obedient even to death on the Cross (Phil. 2:5-11). The road to the celebration of the resurrection is the self-emptying crucifixion of Lent. Pascha is the passover from death to life.

Yesterday I was buried with Thee, O Christ.
Today I arise with Thee in Thy resurrection.
Yesterday I was crucified with Thee:
Glorify me with Thee, O Savior, in Thy kingdom (Ode 3, Paschal Canon).

THE PROCESSION

The divine services of the night of Pascha commence near midnight of Holy Saturday. At the Ninth Ode of the Canon of Nocturn, the priest, already vested in his brightest robes, removes the Holy Shroud from the tomb and carries it to the altar table, where it remains until the leave-taking of Pascha. The faithful stand in darkness. Then, one by one, they light their candles from the candle held by the priest and form a great procession out of the church. Choir, servers, priest and people, led by the bearers of the cross, banners, icons and Gospel book, circle the church. The bells are rung incessantly and the angelic hymn of the resurrection is chanted.

The procession comes to a stop before the principal doors of the church. Before the closed doors the priest and the people sing the troparion of Pascha, “Christ is risen from the dead...”, many times. Even before entenng the church the priest and people exchange the paschal greeting: “Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!” This segment of the paschal services is extremely important. It preserves in the expenence of the Church the primitive accounts of the resurrection of Christ as recorded in the Gospels. The angel rolled away the stone from the tomb not to let a biologically revived but physically entrapped Christ walk out, but to reveal that “He is not here; for He has risen, as He said” (Matt. 28:6).

In the paschal canon we sing:

Thou didst arise, O Christ, and yet the tomb remained sealed, as at Thy birth the Virgin’s womb remained unharmed; and Thou has opened for us the gates of paradise (Ode 6).

Finally, the procession of light and song in the darkness of night, and the thunderous proclamation that, indeed, Christ is risen, fulfill the words of the Evangelist John: “The light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

The doors are opened and the faithful re-enter. The church is bathed in light and adorned with flowers. It is the heavenly bride and the symbol of the empty tomb:

Bearing life and more fruitful than paradise
Brighter than any royal chamber,
Thy tomb, O Christ, is the fountain or our resurrection (Paschal Hours).

MATINS

Matins commences immediately. The risen Christ is glorified in the singing of the beautiful canon of Saint John of Damascus. The paschal greeting is repeatedly exchanged. Near the end of Matins the paschal verses are sung. They relate the entire narrative of the Lord’s resurrection. They conclude with the words calling us to actualize among each other the forgiveness freely given to all by God:

This is the day of resurrection.
Let us be illumined by the feast.
Let us embrace each other.
Let us call “brothers” even those who hate us,
And forgive all by the resurrection. . .

The sermon of Saint John Chrysostom is then read by the celebrant. The sermon was originally composed as a baptismal instruction. It is retained by the Church in the paschal services because everything about the night of Pascha recalls the Sacrament of Baptism: the language and general terminology of the liturgical texts, the specific hymns, the vestment color, the use of candles and the great procession itself. Now the sermon invites us to a great reaffirmation of our baptism: to union with Christ in the receiving of Holy Communion.

If any man is devout and loves God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. . . the table is fully laden; feast you all sumptuously. . . the calf is fatted, let no one go hungry away. . .

THE DIVINE LITURGY

The sermon announces the imminent beginning of the Divine Liturgy. The altar table is fully laden with the divine food: the Body and Blood of the risen and glorified Christ. No one is to go away hungry. The service books are very specific in saying that only he who partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ eats the true Pascha. The Divine Liturgy, therefore, normally follows immediately after paschal Matins. Foods from which the faithful have been asked to abstain during the lenten journey are blessed and eaten only after the Divine Liturgy.

THE DAY WITHOUT EVENING

Pascha is the inauguration of a new age. It reveals the mystery of the eighth day. It is our taste, in this age, of the new and unending day of the Kingdom of God. Something of this new and unending day is conveyed to us in the length of the paschal services, in the repetition of the paschal order for all the services of Bright Week, and in the special paschal features retained in the services for the forty days until Ascension. Forty days are, as it were, treated as one day. Together they comprise the symbol of the new time in which the Church lives and toward which she ever draws the faithful, from one degree of glory to another.

O Christ, great and most holy Pascha.
O Wisdom, Word and Power of God,
grant that we may more perfectly partake of Thee in the never-ending day of Thy kingdom
(Ninth Ode, Paschal Canon).

The V. Rev. Paul Lazor
New York, 1977

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The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

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Holy Resurrection Cathedral is part of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, which is presided over by The Most Reverend Mark (Maymon), Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania. Our mission is bringing the joy of Christ's resurrection to those who have never heard the Good News, and to strengthen and encourage the faithful who reside within Wilkes-Barre and the local area. 

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The Holy Scripture is a collection of books written over multiple centuries by those inspired by God to do so. It is the primary witness to the Orthodox Christian faith, within Holy Tradition and often described as its highest point. It was written by the prophets and apostles in human language, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and collected, edited, and canonized by the Church.

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Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit.

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