St Sophia UGCC in The Colony, TX.
I took another Latin Rite Catholic with me and we had a wonderful experience. Smells, bells, the icons, the singing, the iconostasis, the Eucharist, the Holy Oil and kissing the Crucifix. All my senses were fully engaged. I’m still a bit overwhelmed by my experience.
Years ago, while still in RCIA, I had attended a DL at an Orthodox Cathedral. At the time, I didn’t really understand the order of the Mass and couldn’t make any connections with what was going on during the Liturgy. Yesterday, I could make much more sense of everything and saw the deeper connections. Mass is Mass – the external expressions of it may differ from the Latin Rite to the Byzantine Rite, but Mass is Mass. The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is remarkably beautiful.
St Sophia’s had pews, which I didn’t expect, but we did stand a lot. And it was very interesting how the Priest spoke in English and we responded in Ukrainian – I’ve got to work on my pronunciation! Hospody, pomylui!
It’s a very friendly community and much smaller than my home parish, which is one of the largest in the Dallas Diocese. It’s not as far away as I expected – only about a fifteen-minute drive on a Sunday morning. Not only did someone help us (Yuri) help us get seated and started, but afterwards someone (Christina) gave us a tour and invited us for coffee. Father Popov also took the time to welcome us and talk to us for a while.
And I bought the last bag of pierogies!
I can’t wait to go back.