207 Tompkins Street Syracuse, NY 13204

St. John the Baptist

From The Pastor

The feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord is this week:

Thursday, 8-5-21, Anticipated Divine Liturgy at 6 p.m.

Friday, 8-6-21, Divine Liturgy on the feast day at 9 a.m.

The Blessing of Fruits
The feast of the Holy Transfiguration is the time of the first fruits, which remind us of God’s great goodness and His infinite bounty. To express our recognition and gratitude to God for His generosity we bring some of these first fruits to the church for blessing. The custom to bless the first fruits passed to us from the Old Testament, since the Jews at the very beginning of their exodus were ordered by Almighty God: “You must bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord, your God.” (Ex. 23:19) St. Gregory of Nazianz (d. 389) calls the practice to bless the fruits in church a “just and holy” custom. (cf. P.G., 37, 119)

The Christian practice to bless the fruits in church can be traced back to Apostolic times. The oldest prayer for the blessing of fruits is registered by the Apostolic Constitutions in the fourth century. But there is also an older Prayer of Thanksgiving for the new fruits in the work of St. Hyppolytus, the Apostolic Tradition,
composed about 220 A.D. St. Hippolytus mentions the following fruits usually blessed: grapes, figs, pomegranates, pears, mulberries, peaches, and almonds.

The sixth Ecumenical Council, celebrated in Constantinople (680 681), prescribed that the new “wheat and grapes” were to be blessed in church on the feast of the Holy Transfiguration (canon 28). For this reason some older books of blessings forbid the faithful to eat new fruits of the season before they have been
blessed in church. In the land of our ancestors, in Subcarpathia, the fruits of the season were apples, plums, and pears. These usually were brought to the church and blessed. Today, grapes are also added.

COVID-19 guidelines update:

Please note that, updated protocols based on the new directives from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), New York State, Syracuse Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford include

Effective 6-7-21: 

  • You may enter and exit the church from any entrance. 
  • The elevator will be available for those who need it. Please limit the number of people in the elevator to two people. 
  • There will be no more contact tracing, so no need to sign in. 
  • Masks and social distancing are not required by parishioners and guests who have been fully vaccinated. However, 
    • Masks may still be worn, and social distancing may still be observed by parishioners who have been fully vaccinated. 
    • Masks and social distancing are still required by those who have not been fully vaccinated. 
  • Hand sanitizer is still available for those who wish to use it. 
  • Place your offering in the basket on the Tetrapod. 
  • Seating will no longer be marked or designated, however, 
    • Some distance should be maintained in all cases and places. 
    • Distance is to be maintained around all people wearing masks. 
  • Holy Communion will be distributed as usual. 
  • Only priests and deacons distributing Holy Communion and those who have not been vaccinated are required to wear masks while receiving Holy Communion. 
  • Prayer books and hymnals will be available in the pews. 
  • Bulletins will be available after Divine Liturgy.

And remember: if you are not feeling well, please stay home.

Important Notice
After careful consideration and and consultation with Father Mihai, the Festival Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel this year's Ukrainian Festival. As things are getting back to normal, it's best to be cautious. We'll use this time to pause and let things really get back to normal.
So enjoy this time and get ready for next year...our parish's 80th festival!





Saturday: 4:00 p.m. English
Sunday: During present restrictions, only one Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.  Ukrainian
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 a.m.

Holy Days: 9 a.m. on the Feast Day; 6 p.m. Vigil the evening before the Feast.

10:00 am - 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Confessions: Confessions before and after Liturgies or by request.
Baptisms: Please contact the parish office before arranging the date.
Marriage: Call the parish at least 6 months in advance. Pre-marital counseling is mandatory.
Religious Education: Religious Education every Sunday at 10 am in the parish school. If you would like to register your children please contact Martha Wojtowycz.
Sacrament of the Sick: In case of emergency, call parish anytime.
Bulletin Deadline: Monday of every week.
Church Facilities: Any use of church facilities must be cleared in advance at the rectory.
Cemetery: The purchase of cemetery plots is a privilege reserved for parishioners. Please contact the rectory before any major improvements are undertaken.
Bequests: In making out your will, kindly remember your church. St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, Syracuse NY is our legal title.