January 6, 2019


Once again, St. Basil the Great Parish was the scene of an amazing traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve potluck supper that drew well over eighty people from the parish and around the city. The number was almost double that of last year.

Happy families, young and old couples and lots of children filled the parish auditorium of St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Catholic Parish Church in Winnipeg's St James area on the west end of the city. It was the eve of what everyone in Canada knows as "Ukrainian Christmas" - i.e. Christmas still celebrated on "December 25th", but... according to the "old" or "Julian" calendar which is about 13 days different than the commonly used "new" or "Gregorian" calendar. (Google it. It's a long story for another time).

The Parish Priest, Fr Ihor Shved, wanted a special event for everyone to go delve into the wonderful mystery of the Nativity of Christ through a common meal, fellowship, carol-singing, sharing food and sharing the faith! A supper together is an excellent opportunity to make new friendships in this vast new city and to form bonds that will last long into the future. It is the kind of setting in which everyone can share something... a talent, a song, a joke, a humorous observation about life, an act of kindness, helping serve the meal, participating in the almost totally impromptu 'Vertep" (Nativity pageant), and just sharing the joy.

Fr Ihor spoke a few times during the evening explaining the traditions and especially rousing the crowd with his fantastic accordion-playing. Dobrodiyka(Yimost') Lesia and some of the ladies of the Parish helped layout and serve the unbelievable array of traditional meatless dishes... starting with kutya and borshch and then hall-length buffet with a variety of fish, varenyky (perogies), holubtsi (cabbage rolls), pompushky (jambusters), uzvar (a compote drink) all kinds of salads and pastries.

Dobrodiyka Lesia with the help other talented guests and participation of her and many other children (of all ages) put on a fantastic variety Vertep in which everyone who wanted could - and did - get involved. It was a lot of fun.

God bless Father Ihor, Dobrodiyka Lesia and the parishioners of St Basil's for organizing and hosting this wonderful event.

What happened after it was all done? Well, they all did what you do on Christmas Eve... they made their way to the Sts Volodymyr and Ol'ha Cathedral where Metropolitan Lawrence led the Christmas Complines and midnight Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Христос Рождається! Славіте Його!

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