Feast-Day of the Holy Glorious Prophet Elijah    - July 20, 2020

The Orthodox Church in America celebrated the Feast-Day of the Holy Glorious Prophet Elijah on Monday, July 20th. This is very important Feast of the Church, since the Prophet Elijah is one of the greatest prophets of the Scripture. According to the Biblical narrative he had seen the Glory of God on mount Horeb (1 Kings 19, 11-13), and he did not die, but was taken up into heaven by a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2, 11). It is he, together with Moses, who witnessed Christ’s Divinity and His Glory on mount Tabor (Mt 17, 3; Mk 9, 4; Lk 9, 30), and he will come again “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Mal 4, 5; cf. Mt 17, 11; Mk 9, 12; Rev 11, 3-12).

However, this Feast-Day is of special importance for the Church in Mount Carmel, PA. Name of our little borough is a Biblical toponym used in connection to the Prophet Elijah. It was on mount Carmel that the Prophet Elijah had showed the Glory of God to the children of Israel and revealed the falsehood of other fake gods (1 Kings 18). On mount Carmel “he repaired the Altar of the Lord that was broken down,” and he built the new Altar in the Name of the Lord, using twelve stones according to the number of children of Israel (1 Kings 18, 30-32). There he prayed to the Lord, as the Scripture says, “Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees” (1 Kings 18, 42), and the mercy of the Lord came back upon Israel.

In St. Michael’s Church in Mount Carmel we celebrated Great Vespers on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy on Monday morning in honor of the Holy Prophet Elijah. We prayed to the Prophet Elijah to be with us in those strange times, and to protect us, the New Israel, from the false prophets of our age, as he protected children of Israel of Old. We asked him to preserve the Altar of God which is here in Mount Carmel, and to pray for us, so we can meet the mercy of God and be delivered from all tribulations.

After Divine Liturgy, on Monday morning, we had traditional blessing of vehicles, which is usually done on this Feast-Day. Following this Fr. Vjekoslav together with few parishioners went to Mount Carmel Borough Police Department and blessed their vehicles. This way we wanted to show our support and gratitude to the police for their service. We are very grateful to the Police Department for allowing us come there and pray with them, and for them.