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Received with request for post:

Annandale, VA (Oct. 3, 2011)—After 20 years of planning, fund-raising, and prayer, the parishioners of Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church will finally be able to worship in their new church—just in time for Thanksgiving.
When parishioners walk through the custom made wood doors on Sunday, November 20, they will be transported back to the 17th and 18th centuries, to the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe. That is where the inspiration for the new Epiphany church began. It is there, in Western Ukraine, Eastern Slovakia, and Southwestern Poland that the unique wooden churches with tall spires served as the liturgical home for Eastern Rite Catholics.

Although the new church is built with brick, concrete, and steel, the design and architecture retained the spirit of the wooden churches, bringing a bit of the Carpathian Mountains to Northern Virginia. And it was no easy feat to find an architect and a builder who could reproduce the look and feel of an “Old World” wooden church using modern materials.

The unique roof angles and intersections required intricate fabrication and installation, and, simulating a wood façade with brick called for very specialized masonry skills. Replicating the shadows of the exterior posed yet another design and build challenge, solved by an uncommon process of laying bricks of different sizes in a unique way to create vertical and horizontal shadows, which enhance the wood-like coloration.

Although wood is not the primary material on the exterior, it is used liberally on the inside, from the entry doors to wooden rails with interesting carpenter cuts, and the icon screen.

“The entire building is very intricate, like a watch,” said Father John Basarab, Pastor of Epiphany. The goal, Father Basarab said, was to reflect the history of wooden churches in the original territory of the Eparchy of Mukachevo and in the Archeparchy of Presov, but more importantly, to create a church that felt like home both to the Eastern Rite Catholics here in the U.S., and to Eastern Christians visiting from Europe. Father Basarab added that the mayor of Novoselytsia in Ukraine expressed the sentiment of Epiphany parishioners eloquently in a July 15, 2011 New York Times article: “This isn’t our culture, this is everyone’s culture. It belongs to the world.”

Now, Father Basarab and Epiphany’s 853 parishioners are making plans for the blessing of the bell tower on November 19 and the church itself on November 20. And those plans—every bit as intricate and steeped in history as the design—involve ancient traditions and ingredients from the passion, crucifixion and burial of our Lord according to the gospels. Parishioners are busy collecting a wide array of items needed, from the myrrh, incense, marble dust, and beeswax needed to make mastic wax to natural sponges and rose water, and the bishop’s apron, which will customarily be cut into small pieces and distributed on November 20.

Father Basarab extends a warm welcome to all Eastern and Roman Rite Catholics in the U.S. and around the world as well as historians, architects/builders, and other interested individuals to attend any Sunday liturgy.

Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church in Annandale, Virginia was formed in 1970 and is part of the Eparchy of Passaic. Learn more about the Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Church at http://www.eparchyofpassaic.com/history.htm

Photos of the new church construction and other events at Epiphany can be found at www.epiphanyofourlord.org [epiphanyofourlord.org]

Learn more about wooden churches in Eastern Europe at
http://www.derev.org.ua/index_e.html and

Article co-authored by Epiphany parishioner Ambassador Vincent Obsitnik, former U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia
Click here: Wooden Wonders of the Carpathians | World Monuments Fund

New York Times “Travel” section article “In Ukraine, Churches With a Distinctive Allure” July 15, 2011
http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/travel/ukraines-wooden-churches.html


SCHEDULE OF BLESSINGS
Blessing of the Bell Tower by Bishop William
4:00 pm, Saturday, November 19, 2011

Church Blessing and Divine Liturgy
2:00 pm, Sunday, November 20, 2011

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The circle comes around: wooden churches were built in a manner intended to replicate the brick and stone churches in major cities, copying their architectural style and floorplan. The exterior of new Epiphany, in its decorative use of brickwork, reverses the process, and looks very much like traditional brick churches in places like Romania and Bulgaria, which got their architectural inspiration from the brick churches of Byzantium.

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Congratulations and may God grant many years to Father John and the parishioners of Epiphany in their new temple!


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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John,

Is the new temple at the same location as the current one?

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Across the driveway. They bought the two lots adjacent to Epiphany on Woodburn Road some years ago, in anticipation of building a real church. All sorts of administrative hassles, both ecclesiastical and secular, delayed construction until this year. It is a very imposing and beautiful church.

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Is the Church blessing still planned for this coming (11/20) Sunday at 2pm?

Myself and a fellow Carmelite would like to attend.

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Brother David,

John or Stuart can probably best answer whether it's still on schedule, but I don't see any indication on the website to the contrary.

Prayers that you're doing well, my friend.

And, while we're on the topic ...

Can I just mention that, whomever is blessed to attend, I'd be more than grateful for a couple of beautiful photos - one each of the interior and exterior - for use in the directory entry. They can be emailed to me at ec_parish_webmaster@yahoo.com

Many years,

Neil (wondering whether he should just incorporate that line into a signature and save the typing time biggrin )


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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I have not received anything, either by snail or e-mail, since I got my invitation to the blessing of the church. I assume it is still a go for this coming Sunday.

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All,
The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, Nov 19 - 4:00 PM
Blessing of the Bell Tower, Vespers, and Panahida.
meal will follow.

Sunday, Nov 20 - 9:00 AM
Matins.
meal will follow.

Sunday, Nov 20 - 2:00 PM
Consecration of the Church, and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy - 2:00 PM
reception will follow in Parish Center for all.
Banqued scheduled at nearby hotel for those who responded.

I have heard many people are coming from a great distance for this once-in-a-lifetime event. May their journey be safe and paryerful.

Fr Deacon El

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All,
Please allow me to make one correction in my previous posting:

The meals following each of the liturgical services have been coordinated with invitees, and quite frankly, cannot be extended to the general public.

My sincere apologies if this is a problem for anyone, but we simply cannot deal with an unspecified number of guests.

Thank you,
Deacon El

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I was hoping to see Bishop William do that neat trick with the loaves and the fishes.

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Isn't this an occasion to bring in as much of the public as possible, even if it includes feeding them? I could be completely off base granted, but it seems like the wrong message is being sent.

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AMM,
To answer your question, the church office has been graciously extending invitations well outside the parish boundaries. Many people will be accomodated by the welcoming steps our parish is taking.

However, I overstepped all the careful plans they have been building for months now. Oops, mea culpa.

Please forgive me for posting a statement without taking consideration of the ramifications. Our parish simply does not have the means and facilities to support an unlimited response in this case.

Epiphany Of Our Lord parish has always exhibited gracious hospitality to our guests, and will continue to do so. In this situation the best way to offer this hospitality is for the parish to have specifics on how many faithful will be in attendance.

Again, my apologies for any misunderstanding.

Deacon El



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I wish I could be there. It's been such a blessing to call Epiphany my parish for several years. Being in college in Vermont, I can't make it down... My prayers to the entire parish, Father Basarab and to all the gracious benefactors of our parish and to our God loving Bishop.


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