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THE CHURCH

Вих. ВА 14/166

 

Pastoral Letter

of His Beatitude Sviatoslav

on the occasion of the renewal of the

Act of Consecration of Ukraine

to the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God

 

We have no other help, we have no other hope, but You, O Most Pure Virgin.

Aid us, for we hope in You and praise You; May we, Your servants, be not put to shame

 (Canon of the Moleben to the Most Holy Mother of God).

Dearly beloved in Christ!

          In these days, when our nation and fatherland is once again experiencing a great ordeal—with the occupation of a part of our land—our hearts are filled with anxiety for the future, uncertainty and fear.

          Amid these present circumstances, the Lord Himself sends us a sign of hope, just as He did to King Ahaz in the ancient days of the Old Testament. Jerusalem was under mortal threat from hostile neighbours and its ruler, King Ahaz, desperately sought support from the world powers of the time. The inspired author conveys eloquently the sentiments of the king and his vassals: “the heart of the king and of the people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind” (Is. 7:2). Lord sent to King Ahaz the prophet Isaiah to reassure him and to call him to fully trust in God. The king, however, continued to doubt and waver. Thus, God placed in the mouth of His prophet these words of promise: “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). This prototype of the protection of the Mother of God became a sign of God’s personal and omnipotent sheltering of His people. At that time, the Most High asked His people and their rulers not to place undue confidence in the powerful ones of world, but rather to surrender themselves into His mighty hands by returning to His law: “In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Is. 30:15).

          During our Great-Fast journey, the Lord God sends us His word, calling us to sincere conversion, to an inner change, and as a guarantee of His blessing, He gives us a sign—the Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed, our Glorious Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary.

          In all times, God has come to the aid of His people. As a sign of victory and hope is “the virgin” announced by the prophet Isaiah—the Immaculate Virgin Mary. In Sacred Scripture, the Theotokos is present from the first tragic moments of history, when—after the fall—the Creator announces the defeat of the serpent, mankind’s murder, by the woman’s offspring, who shall bruise the serpent’s head (cf. Genesis.3:14-15). And in the last book of Scripture, the Revelation of St. John, the inspired author sees in a prophetic vision a great sign in heaven: “A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1). From the mouth of the Red Dragon, who hunted this holy Woman, a deadly stream of water came forth, but he could not overcome Her. Rather, by the power of Archangel Michael, the ancient serpent was cast down to the earth and his power over the human race was destroyed forever (cf. Rev . 12:7-17).

          The Mother of God accompanies humanity not only through the recorded history of Sacred Writ; she dwells with Her children always and everywhere, in all times and in every circumstance. The Most Pure Theotokos has graced many places on earth with her special presence. These unique places have become for many people, and even entire nations, signs of refuge and salvation. Such are the sites in the Holy Land near and dear to heart of every Christian—Nazareth, Bethlehem, Ein Karem, Jerusalem, all of which still attract hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. One should also mention—Lourdes in France, Loretto in Italy, Aparecida in Brazil, Guadalupe in Mexico, Mariazell in Austria, Czestochowa in Poland, Máriapócs in Hungary, Litmanová in Slovakia. How can we also not mention the small Portuguese village of Fatima, where the Immaculate Mother of God, at the beginning of 1917, appeared to three shepherd children, asking us to pray for Russia so as to prevent the spread throughout the world of a menacing and devastating infidelity that would bring so many people immense suffering and pain. How can we also not call to mind Univ and Pochaiv, Zarvanytsya and Hoshiv, all of which are signs of the Most Holy Mother of God’s care for our land during its turbulent history. Finally, let us not forget Hrushiv, and that turning point in the life of our church and country, when exactly a year after the Chernobyl disaster, the Lord gave us a sign from heaven, freeing us from fear and awakening in us a new life in a renewed country. At that time, we did not yet know how our race would end, but we felt a great hope and trust, for She, the Mother of God, was with us and through Her the Lord and Master of heaven and earth was with us.

          The Theotokos is near to us in a special way during the Liturgy. She unites with us in endless praise of the Most High and—at the same time—as a loving Mother, She continually intercedes for us before the Lord. The church expresses its faith in the Most Pure Mother of God’s unceasing and prayerful intercession in the well-known prayer: “The Virgin today stands in the church and together with the choir of the saints she prays for us to God. The angels worship with the hierarchs; the apostles exult with the prophets; for the Theotokos prays for us to the Eternal God.” These words, taken from the kontakion of the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God bring us comfort in our affliction, give us strength in our trials and hope in our sufferings, because we know that this “today” does not express some distant and alien past, but rather our present with its own threats and anxieties. In the words of our Patriarch Josyf, She is “the immovable sign of our strength and hope for victory.” This is because “the Most Holy Mother of God—beneath whose honourable and miraculous Protection, we, Her children, flee in times of trouble and distress—is the inviolable shelter, sign and pledge of the unity of our Ukrainian Christian family.”

          Given the new historical circumstances, I wish to turn your spiritual eyes towards the Mother of God and, in response to Her loving and caring presence in our lives, entrust all of you to Her maternal care. During his reign, the pious Prince Yaroslav the Wise consecrated the people of Rus’-Ukraine to the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1995, Myroslav Ivan Cardinal Lubachivsky, of blessed memory, renewed this consecration in Zarvanytsya.

          Continuing the ministry of my great predecessors on the throne of Kyiv-Halych, I desire—in communion with the whole of our Church, both in Ukraine and abroad—to renew once again this act of consecration of the Ukrainian people to the mighty Protection of Mother of God. By this act, we recognize God’s care for us, we manifest our love for the Most Holy Theotokos and our willingness to fulfill all that is commanded us by her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; and, finally, we manifest our desire to serve God and our nation in accordance with the light of His law. Let make manifest this consecration in our lives in the form of a prayer to the Immaculate Mother of God, either personally and communally, beseeching from our Lord a blessing upon our long-suffering people through Her intercession. This prayer can be a Paraklesis, Moleben, Akafist, Rosary or any other pious practice, which we recite daily in honour of our Heavenly Queen and Intercessor, putting in Her motherly heart all of our hopes and dreams for the renewal and strengthening of our nation in Christ’s truth.

          I instruct the clergy to make this solemn act of consecration of Ukraine to the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God on Sunday, April 6th, after each Divine Liturgy in all of our churches. The liturgical order for this consecration—and some other practical guidelines—are attached to this letter. I ask that all the faithful properly prepare for this solemn occasion by receiving the sacraments of Confession and Holy Eucharist, and by doing works of mercy and penance.

          I invite and encourage all the bishops, priests, monks, nuns and the laity of our church to persevere in hope and prayer to the Most Holy Mother of God, so as to always remain beneath Her Protection, and when the spiritual labour of the Great Fast has reached the light of our Lord Jesus Christ’s Resurrection, that we may also be witnesses and partakers in the renewal of our beloved fatherland.

          May the blessing of Almighty God, through the prayers of the Theotokos, descend upon our people—in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

                              † SVIATOSLAV

 

Given in Kyiv

at the Patriarchal Sobor of the Resurrection of Christ

20 March 2014.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

Liturgical Ceremony for the

Consecration of the Ukrainian Nation

to the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God

 

After the conclusion of the prayer beyond the ambo and the singing of “Blessed be the name of the Lord” (and the 33nd Psalm), the Priest and concelebrants stand on the ambo.

 

Choir: Tropar (Tone 4)

 

Let us sinners humbly and diligently have recourse to the Mother of God.* Prostrate in repentance, let us cry out from the depth of our soul:* O Queen, in your compassion, come to our aid!* Make haste, for we are perishing from the multitude of our sins.* Do not turn away your servants empty-handed,* for we have no protection besides you.

 

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

Now & forever & ever. Amen

 

Unworthy as we are,* we shall never cease to proclaim your power, O Mother of God.* If you no longer intercede for us,* who will deliver us from so many misfortunes?* Who will keep us free?* We shall never leave you, O Queen O blessed Lady,* you always save your servants from every calamity.

 

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 

Prayer of Consecration of Ukraine to the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

 

The Priest aloud says the following prayer

 

Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed Virgin Mother of God. To the sorrowful, you are a great intercessor, quick to help, the salvation and support of humanity and the unwavering Protectress of the whole world. Before your throne, we give glory to you with confident hope that you will implore for us mercy and grace, active assistance and defence at this time of tribulation; not because of any merit of ours, upon which we cannot depend, but because of the immeasurable goodness of your motherly heart. Therefore, today we hasten to you and fervently implore you: With the mantle of your mercy, cover your Church and our whole people that cry out to you.

 

Faithful: Most Holy Mother of God, save us!   Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

We are distraught by dire experiences and they fill our souls with great sorrow; appease them with the peace of your Son and God, O immaculate Virgin. Take away our soulful storm of grief; for you, Bride of God, all-pure one, gave birth to Christ, the Prince of Peace.

 

Faithful: Most Holy Mother of God, save us!   Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

To us, who cry out to you, reveal the depths of your mercy and obtain for us the forgiveness of all our sins, for you, for whom praises are sung, gave birth to the Kind-hearted One – the Saviour of us all.

 

Faithful: Most Holy Mother of God, save us!   Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

O God-loved Theotokos, the only ever-virgin, help those who lay upon their beds of pain and suffering; heal the wounded, wipe away the tears of the mournful, protect the wanderers, and comfort those who are persecuted; be a willing intercessor for all who call upon you.

 

Faithful:       Most Holy Mother of God, save us!  Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

Bride of God, who gave birth to the Lord our Helmsman, give us courageous and wise leaders of Church and society; by your prayers obtain for them the light of the Holy Spirit so that enlightened by it they would guide along the ways of truth the People of God that call out to you in faith.

 

Faithful:       Most Holy Mother of God, save us!  Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

Powerful Commander and Leader of heavenly legions, you who by raising your hands in prayer, conquer enemies and overcome all aggressors, strengthen our soldiers, grant them the strength and courage to defend with an unyielding shield their people that calls out to you.

 

Faithful:       Most Holy Mother of God, save us!  Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

O immaculate Mother of the Word Incarnate! Bless all of our families; grant us temporal wellbeing and health, and especially – the Grace of God and a virtuous Christian life.

 

Faithful:       Most Holy Mother of God, save us!  Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

Good teacher of the young and innocent and Source of knowledge and wisdom, guide our youth along the path of truth, strengthen them in the virtues, teach them to desire greatness and to follow the calling of the Most High, always growing in wisdom and the Grace of God.

 

Faithful:       Most Holy Mother of God, save us!  Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

O Mother of mercy, ask of the Most High God, complete and righteous peace for our lands, not only protection from armed conflict, but also liberation from hatred and discord, from malice and the desire for vengeance. Bring us to a peace founded on truth, justice, forgiveness and love.

 

Faithful:       Most Holy Mother of God, save us! Presvjata Bohorodytse, spasy nas!

 

O Mother of God and Protectress of the Ukrainian lands! In haste, we gather under the mantle of your mercy, and we implore your help and in you alone do we set our hope. Accept us all under your protection, bless us and preserve us as your chosen community. By your prayers, make us proficient adherers of the commandments of Christ. Abide with us always as the merciful and kind one who loves us all; and in the present life be our warm defender and helper, expelling the battalions of our adversaries and setting us on the way of salvation. For we have no other helper, we have no other hope, except you, Most Pure Virgin! Come to our aid; we set our hopes on you and you are our glory: for we are your servants, that we may not be disparaged now, always and for ever and ever.

 

Faithful: Amen.

 

Priest: The blessing of the Lord be upon you with His grace and love for mankind, always, now and for ever and ever.

 

Choir: Amen.

 

Priest: Glory to you, O Christ our God, our hope, glory be to you.

Choir: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen. Lord, have mercy. (thrice). Give the blessing.
The Priest delivers the Sunday dismissal.    Choir: Amen.

 

Літургійний чин посвяти України

під Покров Пресвятої Богородиці

 

Після завершення заамвонної молитви, співу «Будь ім’я Господнє благословенне» та 33-го псалма священик зі співслужителями виходить на амвон.

 

Хор: Тропар, глас 4

До Богородиці з запалом нині прибіжім, грішні і смиренні,* і припадім у покаянні, взиваючи з глибини душевної:* Владичице, поможи, змилосердившись над нами;* поспішися, бо загибаємо від множества гріхів;* не заверни рабів твоїх з нічим,* бо в тобі єдину заступницю маємо.

Слава, і нині: Не замовкнемо ніколи, Богородице,* про силу твою говорити ми, недостойні;* бо коли б ти не предстояла благаючи,* хто б нас вирятував від стільки бід?* Хто ж би охоронив нас нині вільними?* Не відступимо від тебе, Владичице:* твоїх бо рабів спасаєш завжди від усякої біди,* єдина благословенна.

Диякон: Господеві помолімся.

Хор: Господи, помилуй.

МОЛИТВА ПОСВЯТИ УКРАЇНИ ПІД ПОКРОВ ПРЕСВЯТОЇ БОГОРОДИЦІ

Священик голосно промовляє нижчеподану молитву. 

Пресвята, Пречиста, Преблагословенна Богородице Діво. Ти для скорботних велика заступниця, негайна помічниця, спасіння та підпора людства і всього світу незмінна покровителька! Перед твоїм престолом славимо тебе в певній надії, що випросиш для нас милосердя і благодать, дієву допомогу й захист у ці дні випробувань, не за наші заслуги, на які покликатися не можемо, але з незмірної доброти твого материнського серця. Тому до тебе нині прибігаємо і усильно просимо: покрий омофором милості твоєї Церкву і ввесь народ наш, що кличе до тебе.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

Тяжкі нас засмучують досвіди і сповняють великої журби наші душі; то ж утихомир їх миром Сина й Бога твого, всенепорочна Діво. Усунь, Діво, душевну бурю журби нашої, бо ти, Богоневісто, як єдина Пречиста, Начальника миру – Христа породила.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

Вияви нам, що до тебе кличемо, глибину твого милосердя і випроси нам прощення усіх провин, бо ти породила Добросердого і Спаса всіх, що тебе оспівують.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

Допоможи, боголюбна Богородице, єдина Вседіво, тим, що лежать на постелі своїх болів і немочі, зціли поранених, утри сльози засмучених, захисти скитальців і пригорни переслідуваних, будь готовим заступництвом усім, що призивають тебе.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

Богоневісто, що Керманича Господа породила, даруй нам мужніх і мудрих провідників на церковній і народній ниві, вимоли для них світло Святого Духа, щоб Ним просвічені провадили дорогами правди люд Божий, що з вірою кличе до тебе.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

Могутня Воєводино і полків небесних Провіднице, ти, що, піднісши свої руки на моління, перемагаєш ворогів та долаєш усіх супротивників, укріпи наших воїнів, даруй їм силу і відвагу щитом могутнім захищати свій народ, що кличе.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

О Мати непорочна Воплоченого Слова! Благослови всі наші родини, дай нам дочасний добробут і здоров’я, а ще більше – Божу благодать і чесноти християнського життя.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

Добра вихователько дів і Джерело знання та мудрості, провадь нашу молодь дорогою правди, скріпи в чеснотах, навчи великого бажати та йти за покликом Всевишнього, зростаючи в мудрості і благодаті Божій.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

О Мати милосердя, випроси від Всевишнього Бога повний і справедливий мир для нашої землі, не тільки захорону перед збройними боями, але і визволення від ненависті й чварів, від злоби і бажання помсти. Доведи нас до миру, заснованого на правді, справедливості, прощенні й любові.

Вірні: Пресвята Богородице, спаси нас!

О Мати Божа і Покровителько української землі! Під твою милість прибігаємо, твоєї помочі благаємо, тільки на тебе уповаємо. Прийми нас всіх під свій Покров, благослови нас і зберігай як свою вибрану громаду. Зроби нас своїми молитвами вмілими виконавцями Христових заповідей. Будь при нас як милостива, й милосердна, і чоловіколюбна, завжди і в теперішньому житті, теплою заступницею і помічницею, відганяючи полки супротивників, наставляючи нас на спасіння. Бо не маємо іншої допомоги, не маємо іншої надії, крім тебе, Пречиста Діво! Ти нам допоможи, на тебе надіємось і тобою хвалимось: бо ми твої слуги, щоб ми не посоромилися нині, і повсякчас, і на віки вічні.

Вірні: Амінь.

Священик: Благословення Господнє на вас, з Його благодаттю і чоловіколюб’ям, завжди, нині, і повсякчас, і на віки вічні.

Хор: Амінь

Священик: Слава Тобі, Христе Боже, уповання наше, слава Тобі.

Хор: Слава Отцю, і Сину, і Святому Духові, і нині, і повсякчас, і на віки віків. Амінь. Господи, помилуй (3). Благослови.
Священик  виголошує недільний відпуст Хор: Амінь.

________________________________________________________

Pastoral Letter of His Beatitude Sviatoslav
and the Permanent Synod
on the Occasion of the Great Fast[1] 2014

 Most Reverend Metropolitans and Bishops. Very Reverend Priests, Religious Monastic! Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

 

Our Church, our Faithful and our entire Ukrainian People enter into the Great Fast this year with feelings of pain, fear, suffering and trembling hope. We have experienced one of the longest and most terrible winters in the history of our people – a winter in which we profoundly and personally felt the darkness of sin, and we saw evil that garishly expressed itself in our modern history and bore its murderous interior for all to see. Sin, in its ugly, noxious nature, rose up before us.

At the same time, this is the winter of our national unity, solidarity, openness to our neighbour, and the continuation of our exodus from the home of slavery. On the ‘Maidan’[2], we understood the true sense of sacrifice, dedication and mercy. For many this was a time of profound self-realization and conversion to the Lord. The experience of the last 90 days must become for us a signpost for the next 40 days and for the rest of our life.

During the Great Fast, we will especially remember, together with our deceased family members, the sacrifice of the martyrs of the “Heavenly Legion” – those that gave their lives for the victory of good over evil and of truth over injustice. We will also remember the selfless dedication of those people who stood there over these last months in the most terrifying and freezing-cold nights on the Maidan united in prayer. With gratitude, we will remember all Christians and people of good will in Ukraine and throughout the world – for their prayer and moral and material support.

At the same time, we will always keep in mind that the results of this winter were not the accomplishment of human hands:[3] “if it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive (Psalm 124: 2-3) We became witnesses and conveyers of the mystery of the actions of God’s grace, witnesses that, “what is impossible for man, is possible for God”. (Luke 18:26).

The Great Fast continues that which began on the Maidan, and adds to it new spiritual substance. Contemplating the pure sacrifice of the “Heavenly Legion”[4] and the dedication of the hundreds of thousands of people, each of us should evaluate our lives differently: seek greatness in your consciousness and in your mystical being, open your life to others – to God and your neighbour, cleanse from yourself everything that limits us and leads to sin. On this path of conversion and cleansing, our Church prays with the words of venerable Ephrem, “Lord and Master of my life! Remove from me the spirit of laziness and indifference, lust of power and idle chatter. Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of purity, humility, patience, and love. Yes, O Lord and King, let me see my own sins and not judge my brother or sister, for it is You who are blessed forever!”

This year in particular, the Great Fast challenges Ukrainians to overcome the sins of hatred and distrust. This is especially the case for those who have been entrusted with the helm of the nation. It is difficult for us to trust the new leadership today, because we have experienced authorities that enslave, humiliate and kill. Thus, it will take a great effort to overcome this sin. The first step in this direction must be forgiveness. A good opportunity for this is “Forgiveness Sunday” which opens the way to reconciliation with God and neighbour.

Together with this, we must remember that trust toward a restored authority cannot be blind and should usher in an active sharing of responsibility for that which happens on our country. This shared responsibility must emanate from each of us: with responsibility for our own household, our village or city, and for our country – remembering that every citizen must not demand of oneself any less then he/she would demand of others.

The insistent reminder about this responsibility will be the sacrifice of those innocent people killed – whose memory no one dare stain by their own selfish purpose or political conduct. Let us not squander this God-given opportunity that opens for us new possibilities, a new way of living, so that, according to the words of the Apostle to the nations, we would be made, “worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which we are suffering” (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:5).

How will we accomplish this? The Great Fast is the way to the Resurrection. Our Saviour, Who, “came that we would have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) proposes for us appropriate means, in order that our activity would be life-giving. He calls us to direct ourselves toward the Lord’s Passover, to pass through the pilgrimage from sin to love in order to be forever a “new creation in Christ” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:17).

In spite of the uniqueness of the Lenten period for our people this year, it always is a period of spiritual struggle. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). The spiritual combat to which the Church calls us during the Great Fast, has concrete dimensions according to the words of the Prophet Isaiah, “”this is the kind of fasting that I want: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the fetters of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every oppression. Share your bread with the hungry, and invite the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and do not refuse to help your own people? (58, 6–7).

We must fight for truth and righteousness, confirm the God-given dignity of every person, maintain peace in our souls and our country, promote reconciliation and repentance, and aid in the healing of the spiritual and physical wounds by which Ukrainians have been injured. In particular we call everyone to solidarity in tending to the families of those killed and wounded and those that remain traumatized body and soul.

Difficult and complicated times may await us. We must be prepared for economic sacrifices, which will demand from our part patience and perseverance. Let us learn to carry our daily Cross steadfastly  and without complaint, even when we will find ourselves without that which we consider most indispensable. Let this be our fast – a fast that raises hope for a better future for Ukraine, which, after the winter, will come into its springtime and will yield its fruit.

To experience the Great Fast most profitably, we propose to all of our Faithful to continue their prayer and fasting for the Ukrainian people according to the intentions that we give in the supplement.

We call upon everyone to dedicate themselves to work and prayer, in fasting and charity. “May the God of peace himself sanctify you totally; and may your entire being – spirit and soul and body – be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

On behalf of the members of the Permanent Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church

+ SVIATOSLAV
Father and Head of the UGCC

 Issued at Lviv-Briukhovichy
28 February 2014 A. D.
Cheesefare Friday 

 

Intentions for prayer and fasting during the Great Fast

Monday  – for the Supreme Council (i.e. Parliament) of Ukraine and the upcoming Presidential election

 Tuesday – for the new government of Ukraine and its successful service

 Wednesday  – for the Army of Ukraine

 Thursday – for the Police and other law enforcement agencies

 Friday – for those wounded on the Maidan and their families

 Saturday – remembering the deceased, especially those killed on the Maidan

 Sunday – for the unity and integrity of Ukraine

We ask all clergy with pastoral assignments to read this pastoral letter after each Divine Liturgy on Cheesfare Sunday, 2 March of this year.


[1] The “Great Fast” is the term used by the Ukrainian Church for Lent, as it is the most significant of four more major fasting periods of the year.
[2] “Maidan” is the Ukrainian word for “Square” and in this case it refers to the central major Independence Square (“Maidan Nezalezhnosti”) in the capital city of Kyiv where the protesters of the corrupt government first gathered and remain to this day.
[3] Нерукотворними “not-made-by-hands”, i.e. by the hand of God; by miraculous intervention
[4] Translation of “Nebesna Sotnya”, the title given to the over 80 people who were killed, mainly be sniper fire, on the Maidan during the protests in Kyiv February, 2014. “Sotnya” is a military unity used by Ukrainian Cossacks that somewhat equates with the ‘legions’ of 100 soldiers used by the ancient Roman army.