St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Metro Atlanta

Priest: Rev. Bogdan Maruszak

Frequently Asked Questions


I just had a baby what should I do?

Congratulations! God grant your new bundle of joy many years.

After you rest and are ready to take the baby out to the mall, market, etc., you should call/email the church office to arrange for the baby to be baptized.

I want to get to married what should I do?

You are! How wonderful!

Before doing anything or signing a contract with a function facility check with the church office, as the date may not be available due to a Lenten period, the pastor’s schedule, etc., etc.

Some one in my family is dying. Is there anything that I should be doing?

The best thing to do is to come to the Liturgy, light a candle for them, and to remember them in your heart and prayers. You can even offer the holy bread for them by calling/emailing the office.

The next thing to do is to decide what funeral home you will be using. While it can be painful, you may want to “make” the arrangements for your loved one in advance with the funeral director.  Fr. Bohdan can help you with these painful decisions, which are best made while we can think clearly.

After your loved one dies, you should call the funeral director who in turn will contact the priest. The funeral director and/or priest can guide you through the many details involved.

Why do we bless objects in the Orthodox Church?

In the litanies of our services, we are called to "commend ourselves... and our whole life unto Christ our God."  All that we possess physically, psychologically, emotionally, and materially are called to be offered to God in thanksgiving and praise.  In return for this offering, God sends us His Holy Spirit.  The Spirit of God fills our lives and perfects them. He makes that which was created in this world, a part of the eternal world of God's Kingdom.  The process of blessing with Holy Water is the means through which we actively "commend ourselves, one another and our whole life to Christ our God", and invite Him to be actively present in our lives. With this in mind, it only makes sense that we would dedicate to God one of our most prized and valuable possession: our homes.  Homes, whether they be houses, apartments, collage dormitories, or even caves in the earth, are an important part of who we are.  By inviting the priest into our homes to perform the rite of blessing with holy water, we invite God to transform our homes into little temples, places where the Lord comes to dwell.  This is so appropriate, since the Orthodoxy teaches that the family is a little Church, a small Kingdom of God.

Why do we bless our homes after the Feast of Jordan (Epiphany)?

It was during Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan River that the Holy Trinity revealed itself: "As soon as Jesus was Baptized, He came up out of the water.  Then heaven was opened to Him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and lighting on Him.   And then a voice said from heaven, "This is my own dear Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17).  The feast of Jordan, then, is a celebration of God's presence in the world.  We celebrate His presence in our lives at this time of the year by inviting Him into our homes through the rite of blessing with Holy Water.

What are the significance of the candle and "kolach" on the table?

The candle and kolach, at the center of the table, signify that Christ, the Bread of Life and Light of the World, is to be at the center of our lives.

Why do we lead the priest through the house with a candle as he is performing the blessing?

In this instance the candle represents John the Baptist, who came before Christ, proclaiming His coming and enlightening the world about Him.

If you would like your house to be blessed, please call Fr. Bohdan

Prayer of the Blessing of Homes

O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who deigned to enter into the house of Zaccheus, the Publican, thereby bringing to him salvation: now protect (names) who live here from all evil, blessing their life; and guard them from all aggression, granting them all that is good and beneficial for them.

For You, O God, are the one who has mercy on us and saves us, now and forever, unto the ages of ages.   Amen.