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The funeral arrangements for Michael Popilchak are as follows:

Thursday, June 21st: Visitation will be held from 2:00pm-7:00pm at St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church in Fenton, MI with a Panakhida at 7pm.

Friday, June 22nd: Funeral service will be held at St. Mary Magdalene Orthodox Church in Fenton, MI at 11:00 am

Please keep the newly departed Servant of God Michael and the entire Popilchak family in your daily prayers. Christ is Risen!
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Vjecnaja pamjat.

Memory Eternal

Mike Popilchak passed away yesterday evening. He was a longtime faithful member of this parish and will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. Please keep Mike's family in your prayers during this difficult time. ... See MoreSee Less


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Memory eternal to Michael’s faithful soul.

So sad to hear this. Our prayers are with his family.

Memory Eternal!


2 weeks ago

Archangel Michael Orthodox Church | Burbank, IL

The Veil
The significance of the veil in Orthodox churches

I recently had a protestant Christian ask why we Orthodox still separated the faithful by closing and opening the veil that separates the Altar from the people. When I explained that we follow, as did the Ancient Church, the tradition of showing great reverence to the Holy of Holies, by setting it apart, the person objected, saying that Christ, by His crucifixion, had destroyed the distance between man and God, and therefore, the veil was no longer needed. The visitor then quoted from Matthew 27:52: “Then behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom”
I explained that the Holy of Holies was exposed, not because God desired to remove the symbol of the holiness of the place set aside, but that the Holy of Holies was exposed because the chosen people had shown they were incapable of recognizing Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. The God of Israel was revealed the very moment Jesus yielded up His spirit on the cross.

It is important that we understand the significance of the veil. In the Old Testament temple, only the high priest was entitled to pass beyond the veil, shutting off the outside, fallen world, and entering into the place where God Himself dwelt. The veil used in our Orthodox temples closes off the sanctuary from the nave as a reminder of the holiness of the temple of Jerusalem, and when opened is the evidence that Christ is the Source of all holiness, being Himself the Son of God. The curtain is shut other than the time of sacraments/prayers so that it will be opened to only the committed faithful, the followers of Christ Jesus.

Because the architecture of Orthodox churches expresses heaven on earth, it becomes a model of the spiritual world—of the Heavenly Kingdom—which the Lord opened to us through the holy prophet Moses on Mt. Sinai. Then God commanded to build the Old Testament Tabernacle according to the precise pattern given by Him to Moses, down to the smallest detail. New Testament churches expressed the same arrangement as that of the Old Testament temple, but with the difference that our Lord Jesus Christ became Incarnate and completed the work of the salvation of mankind. It is namely from this monumental event that there are changes to New Testament temples in relation to that of the Old Testament.

The Narthex in our churches symbolizes this world [Rev 11:2], and the Nave is the place set aside for the assembly of the people of God. The nave corresponds to the Old Testament sanctuary, where only the priestly caste could be found. But today, because the Lord with His most-pure blood cleansed us all and united us in His Mystery of Baptism, the Nave—the New Testament sanctuary—is open to all Orthodox Christians, because in Christ, we are all part of the priesthood of all believers.

The Holy Altar (the Holy of Holies) is a symbol of heaven or paradise. In heaven Jesus the Son of Man continues His priestly mediation in the midst of saints and angels along with the heavenly glory of light. It is within the Altar that the Holy Mysteries of our Lord are offered by the priest who is the sacramental presence of Christ, together with deacons and candle light.

The Holy Table, where the Eucharist is celebrated, indicates the holy Tomb of our Lord. The bread and wine offered upon it are transformed into the Mystical Body of the glorified Christ. The Holy Table recalls the worldly death of Jesus on the Cross and the burial of his earthly body in the tomb which resulted in the triumphant resurrection of His glorified body. The glimpses we get of the Altar during every celebration of the Divine Liturgy, is meant to motivate us to strive towards the heavenly, the core aspiration of every Orthodox Christian.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon
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