Father Vasile Godenciuc, pastor of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Elmira Heights, will serve as celebrant for the weekly 5 p.m. regional Mass at Elmira’s St. Patrick Church on Sunday, Jan. 20.
The St. Nicholas choir also will be on hand to offer chants from the Eastern-rite liturgy. The Mass, to be celebrated in English, is being held in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
St. Nicholas, located at 410 E. McCann Blvd., was founded in 1895. It is one of five Eastern Catholic churches within the geographic boundaries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, and the only one outside Monroe County.
St. Nicholas is in full communion with Rome, sharing the same sacraments, theology and dogma as its Latin-rite brethren. Although the Eastern-rite liturgy follows the same basic structure as the Latin-rite Mass, it is distinct in several ways: the priest faces away from the congregation; readings and verses are sung; and Holy Communion is administered as chunks of bread rather than hosts, and is first dipped in wine then served on the tongue. It can only be administered by priests and deacons.