church interior with altar and icons

Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church

Williamsburg Virginia

When in VA Beach visit our sister parish,
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church
at 216 S Parliament Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23462


The Very Reverend Father Alex Shuter, Pastor

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Divine Liturgy is being streamed live, via YouTube.
Visit our YouTube Channel

11 AM Sunday mornings and on
Tuesday, Wednessday and Thursday at 8:30am.


Friday 5:30pm
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

  • Complete 2024 schedule of the
    Liturgies of the Presanctified Gifts
    and for Holy Week.

    Icon of the Ascension of Our Lord

  • The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is a service unique to the Eastern Church and the Byzantine Rite. It is celebrated during the Great Fast, and provides the faithful with the opportunity to receive Holy Communion on those days when then the Eucharistic Sacrifice is not celebrated. The word "presanctified" indicates that the "gifts" (the Body and Blood of Christ) which are distributed at the service are those consecrated at a previous Eucharist. Historically, we know for a fact that the per-sanctified liturgy itself was used as early as 692 when it was decreed by the Council of Trullo that the liturgy would be served during the weekdays of Lent. We also have record of pre-sanctified being celebrated as early as the early 600s in writings of St. Gregory the Dialogust.


    The Great Fast

    The original purpose of the pre-Pascha Fast (now known as The Great Fast, or Lent) was the fasting of catechumens who were being prepared for baptism and entry into the Church. However, it quickly became a time for those who were already Christian to prepare for the feast of the Resurrection of Christ. It is the living symbol of man's entire life which is to be fulfilled in his own resurrection from the dead with Christ. It is a time of renewed devotion: of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It is a time of repentance, a real renewal of minds, hearts and deeds in conformity with Christ and his teachings. It is the time, most of all, of return to the great commandments of loving God and neighbors.

    It is important not to overlook the physical requirements of fasting, it is even more important not to overlook its inward significance. Fasting is not a mere matter of diet. It is moral as well as physical. True fasting is to be converted in heart and will; it is to return to God, to come home like the Prodigal to our Father's house. In the words of St. John Chrysostom, it means 'abstinence not only from food but from sins'. 'The fast', he insists, 'should be kept not by the mouth alone but also by the eye, the ear, the feet, the hands and all the members of the body': the eye must abstain from impure sights, the ear from malicious gossip, the hands from acts of injustice. It is useless to fast from food, protests St. Basil, and yet to indulge in cruel criticism and slander: 'You do not eat meat, but you devour your brother'.


    Still time to Donate

    Link to make on online donation to the
    2023 Bishop's Appeal


    Link to the music for Divine Liturgy

    Divine Liturgy, February 25, 2024
    Second Sunday of the Great Fast


    The Sign of the Cross (audio)


    This Week's Liturgical Scripture Readings
    Beginning February 25, 2024


    2nd Sunday of the Great Fast

    10:40am Third Hour

    11am Divine Liturgy

    Heb 1:10-2:3
    Mk 2:1-12
    3rd Week of the Great Fast


    Gen 6:99-22 Prov 8:1-21


    8:30am Divine Liturgy
    followed by
    Reflection on Gospel

    5:15pm Adult Bible Study

    Gen 7:1-5
    Prov 8:32-9:11


    8:30am Diviine Liturgy
    followed by
    Moleben to
    the Theotokos

    Gen 7:6-9
    Prov 9:12-18


    8:30am Divine Liturgy

    6pm Rosary

    Gen 7:11-8:4
    Prov 10:1-22


    5:30 pm
    Liturgy of the
    Presanctified Gifts
    followed by
    Simple Lenten Meal

    Gen 8:4-21
    Prov 10:31-11:12


    Heb 10:32-38
    Mk 2:14-17

    Lectionary of the Byzantine Church for the entire year


    About Us

    Ascension of Our Lord is a Byzantine (Ruthenian) Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church, located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The church's ancestral origins are from Eastern (Slavic) Europe. The Byzantine Catholic Church follows the Holy Traditions of the Byzantine East, with roots in Constantinople, while maintaining union with the Catholic church of Rome. All services are conducted in English. Roman Catholics in good standing with the Church are free to receive the Holy Sacraments.

    A Brief History

    As the first Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Church in Southeastern Virginia, the parish family first came together with a Divine Liturgy celebrated at St. Mary Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia on November 4, 1984, when Father John Lazarek began his missionary work. For four years, Fr. Lazarek travelled from Annandale, Virginia, to the Tidewater area to celebrate the Divine Liturgy.

    In September of 1987, the mission purchased Greensprings Community Chapel. On February 4, 1988, Bishop Michael J. Dudick, D.D., The Eparchy of Pasasaic, granted canonical status to the newly-named Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church. On October 25, 1988, Father Edward G. Cimbala was assigned as the parish's first resident pastor.

    In October of 1989, Father Edward Cimbala began his missionary work in Virginia Beach by founding Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church while continuing to serve the Williamsburg parish.


    Ascension parish has grown from a parish formed to meet the needs of the ethnic Byzantine Catholics of the area into a parish home for many residents who have come to love the Catholic traditions of the Christian East. God has blessed our parish over the years and we look forward to all that He has in store for us in the years to come!

    To read more about Byzantine Catholics follow this link.


    Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!


    Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church
    114 Palace Lane Williamsburg, VA 23185