“Our Christian conscience tells us … that we do not have the right to let our hands down. We should continue in praying and fasting. In this complicated time for our country, we beseech the Almighty for victory over the machinations of an outside aggressor and for peace on our land,” write the members of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC Kyiv-Halych Major Archbishopric in their “Appeal to the faithful and all people of goodwill” to continue on-going praying and fasting for peace in Ukraine.
The Greek-Catholic bishops are appealing to UGCC faithful and generally to all Christians and people of goodwill, to continue an uninterrupted fast and prayers for peace and a better future for Ukraine. In the “Appeal” the Most Reverend Bishops provide clear practical directives regarding the continuation of “this spiritual deed”.
The hierarchs commission parishes, monasteries, and seminaries to hold continuous round-the-clock prayers. The bishops ask all faithful and people of goodwill everyday at 9 pm to participate in the joint prayer for Ukraine (on Monday: for the successful service of the President, the government, and Parliament; on Tuesday: for the enemy; for the conversion of those who persecute and attack us; on Wednesday: for the Ukrainian Army; on Thursday: for law protecting organs and the police; on Friday: for those wounded, in captivity, the refugees and their families; on Saturday: for the dead, especially the perished soldiers and all innocently killed; on Sunday: for unity and independence of Ukraine).
Also UGCC has announced an uninterrupted strict fast scheduled as follows: on Monday: Kyiv Archeparchy, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Crimea Exarchates; on Tuesday: Lviv Archeparchy, Stryi Eparchy; on Wednesday: Ivano-Frankivsk Archeparchy, Kolomyia-Chernivtsi Eparchies; on Thursday: Ternopil Archeparchy, Buchach Eparchy, Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy; on Friday: Sokal-Zhovkva Eparchy; Lutsk Exarchate. At the end of every Liturgy, the bishops direct to sing the prayer: “Oh, God, Great and Only…”
As it is written in the “Appeal” of UGCC bishops, in facing the new dangers, the Ukrainian people should unite “in their readiness to safeguard the Motherland, to defend its independence and the right of every citizen to live in a free, democratic, and European nation.”
“The beginning of the renewal of government in our nation, the Presidential Elections which manifested a consolidation of Ukrainian society and the ability of the people to take on the responsibility for their future, the preservation of an inter-religious and international peace in the country – all this is the harvest of prayers heard by God, an expression of the strength of the Intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God over us, which we renewed on April 6th this year,” urge the bishops the faithful.
We remind all, that somewhat earlier, during the last session of the Synod of Bishops of the Kyiv-Halych Major Archbishopric of UGCC, which took place in Lviv on January 31st and February 1, 2014, the bishops published an “Appeal regarding the situation in Ukraine”. In this appeal there was announced a period of fasting in all hierarchies with a request to pray for peace. Given the fact that the situation in Ukraine has escalated and remains unregulated, UGCC hierarchs in the next session of the Synod, decided to continue fasting and praying for this intention.