Home Hope Native church buildings honor Ukrainian Christmas traditions

Native church buildings honor Ukrainian Christmas traditions

Native church buildings honor Ukrainian Christmas traditions

This Christmas season, the Rev. Mikhail Tikhonov of the Christian Church of Hope in Emma says he’s been impressed by the 50 Ukrainian refugee households who’ve joined his congregation in the course of the previous yr after fleeing the conflict.

“The essential that means of Christmas is that Christ got here to convey hope for humanity,” he tells Xpress. “So that’s what we’re grounded on this yr.”

Tikhonov estimates that 70% of the church’s 800 parishioners are Ukrainian or of Ukrainian heritage, although the congregation additionally contains different Slavic nationalities equivalent to Russians, Belarusians and Moldovans. General, he says, the Pentecostal church’s Christmas providers are similar to these of different evangelical congregations, particularly the Baptist and Assemblies of God denominations. What he does contemplate completely different, nonetheless, is the prominence of two traditions: caroling and feasting.

“Slavic folks, whether or not it’s Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas, they put together massive dinners,” Tikhonov says. “There isn’t any tv on: We simply share life. We chortle, we cry, we sing carols collectively. It’s like what America was 30, 40, 50 years previous.”

A Holy Supper feast additionally figures prominently within the practices of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Regionally, that custom is represented by the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke Ukrainian Catholic Mission, led by the Rev. Kevin Bezner at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Arden. Born a Roman Catholic, Bezner has a particular appreciation for these traditions as a result of they join him to his personal Ukrainian heritage, which he wasn’t even conscious of till after he transformed in 2007.

“Beneath church legislation, I ought to have been Ukrainian Catholic all alongside,” he says.

Songs of pleasure

In accordance with the Web Encyclopedia of Ukraine, caroling is a convention that reaches again to pre-Christian instances. There are two sorts of carols: koliadky, sung at Christmas, and shchedrivky, which have fun the brand new yr. The well-known “Carol of the Bells” is, in reality, Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych’s adaptation of Shchedryk, a standard Ukrainian New 12 months’s music.

Carols are a central a part of the Christmas celebrations on the Christian Church of Hope, whether or not they’re being sung in church by one of many many choirs or by parishioners going home to accommodate.

“On Christmas Day at 5 o’clock within the night, they go carol on the houses of senior residents in our church who dwell by themselves,” Tikhonov explains. It’s usually a bunch of youthful folks, together with members of the teenager and younger grownup choirs. “They take the accordion and guitar, they put on the Christmas hats, they usually simply go stroll the condominium advanced and sing carols.”

Traditional carols additionally characteristic within the church’s Christmas packages. They embrace the Ukrainian music “Nebo i Zemlia” (which interprets as “Heaven and Earth”) in addition to English carols equivalent to “Oh Come, All Ye Trustworthy.”