Our Parish

Our parish family welcomes you to the Church of Saint Mary Pokrova (Protection). Our church is here to serve all people in hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and in discovering His presence in our lives.

The church of Saint Mary is a Catholic Church of the Byantine-Ruthenian Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersey. It is a Byzantine Church in communion with the Pope of Rome.

The patroness of our Church is Mary, the Mother of God, under the title of her Holy Protection (Pokrov). As a living parish it provides all the services of the Church. The Divine Liturgy (the Eucharist) is celebrated on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Vigil Liturgy is celebrated on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. Baptisms and marriages are celebrated by appointment. Confesions are heard on Saturday before liturgy, or upon request.

Special services are held in different seasons of the Church year, particularly Great Lent. Sick and shut-ins are visited regularly with the Sacrement of Holy Unction and Holy Communion. All services are celebrated in English with a very small amount of Church Slavonic for the sake of tradition.

Our Church seeks to have an active, living conscious faith that is expressed in worship and nurtured through cathechetical ministry. Saint Mary's is proud of its complete, professional program of of religious education for people of all ages.

Congregational singing, led by a cantor, enhances all our worship services. Music ministry is an important part of the life of our Church.

The pastor is assisted in the administration and direction of the Church by a twelve member advisory council, which meets monthly to discuss the activities and needs of the parish. Our other societies: School of Religious Education, Cantors, Byzantine Catholic Youth Group, Rosary Society, Pirohi Makers, and parish family round out the active social life of our parish.

All parishioners are asked to take an active part in the activities of our Church. Worship and prayer are essential to Christian life and community. Each member is asked to contribute to the church a portion of his or her income to support the life and growth of our community.

Joining Our Parish

Our Church is faithful to Jesus’ call to bring His Gospel to all peoples…(Matthew 28: 16-20)

All who seek to know and love God are welcome in our Church. Byzantine Catholics who are transferring into the area are most welcome and can join by application to the pastor.

We do not proselytize members of other churches, but will welcome those who do wish to join our Church for reasons recognized by Church law, particularly spiritual welfare.

Those who have been baptised in a Church that is not Catholic can join by taking a series of instructions and by making a profession of faith… and by receiving the Sacrement of Chrismation if it has not previously been received.

We especially welcome back those who have been members of the Catholic Church and wish to renew their faith… and those who have never been a member of a Church but now wish to seek God through faith. Those who have not been baptised can join the church by a series of instructions, called the Catechuminate, and by baptism “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Interparish Vespers during the Great Fast (Lent)
Blessing of the Susquehanna River for the Feast of Theophany, a Major Feast Day in the Eastern Churches. Christ is Baptized! In the Jordan! Christos Krescajetsja! Vo Jordani!

Pascha (Easter): Following the procession around the church, the priest incenses the holy gospel book and the faithful. Holding the handcross in his left hand, the priest signs the doors in the form of a cross with the censer three times, singing:

“Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered, and let those who hate him flee from before his face. (Ps. 68:1) As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish, as wax melts before a fire. (Ps. 68:2a) So let the wicked perish at the presence of God, but let the righteous ones rejoice. (Ps. 68:2b) This is the day that the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Ps. 118:24)

To which the faithful reply with the Paschal troparion:

“Christ is risen from the dead! By death he trampled Death; and to those in the tombs he granted life. Christós voskrése iz mértvych, smértiju smert’ popráv, i súščym vo hrobích živót darováv.”