The Head of the UGCC calls for nationwide vigilance and fervent prayer for the Ukrainian army

Thursday, 21 April 2022, 12:00
These days, as the war escalates and the enemy intensifies its offensive against Ukraine, I call on everyone to pray vigorously and unceasingly for the Ukrainian army. Since today the future, the fate of Ukraine and the world is being decided. I call on this nationwide vigil and prayer of all those who hear me today in Ukraine and abroad.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav called on such a special focus on prayer, particularly during Holy Week, in his daily address on the 55th day of Russia's war against Ukraine.

“I thank all those who will keep vigil together with Ukraine today in different parts of the world, from different churches, from different nations”, added the Head of the Church.

In his address, His Beatitude Sviatoslav stated that over the past 24 hours we have seen a sharp increase in the aggressive actions of the occupiers. The President of Ukraine and the military leadership are talking about the beginning of a new offensive by Russian troops, particularly in eastern Ukraine. Fighting has intensified. The number of weapons used these days is unmatched in the last decades since World War II…

“But Ukraine is struggling. Ukraine is standing. We are able to talk to you today, thanks to the heroic efforts of the Ukrainian army. It is to our Armed Forces that we owe our ability to see this morning of God and to be able to send our morning prayers to our Lord and Savior”, the Head of the UGCC pointed out.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav pointed out that Ukraine has entered Holy Week and is experiencing Holy Tuesday today. The Liturgy of the Church, according to the Byzantine rite, he says, at this time draws the attention of the faithful to the theme of vigilance. “These days the ancient hymn "Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching.” “The Church calls us to be vigilant”, the Archbishop underlined.

The head of the Church explained that to watch means to be like a watchman, or a military guard, to keep watching, so that the enemy does not suddenly catch us asleep. In the spiritual sense, to be vigilant means to expect an encounter, to be ready to meet, in particular, our Savior, who is going to His voluntary suffering.

“These days we need to check how ready we are for the Feast of Pascha, to what extent our attention, our mind, our heart, our will, even our soul and our body are ready to encounter the Risen Christ”, the Head of the Church emphasized.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also added that to be vigilant these days means to be vigilant in prayer, in relations with the Lord, as well as in relations with neighbors, in the person of whom the Lord and Savior himself comes to us today.

Furthermore, these days of vigils, prayers, and anticipation, according to the Head of the UGCC, reflect the early Christian understanding of Pascha as a time when early Christians awaited the second and glorious coming of Jesus Christ and the end of world history.

“Who knows, maybe this Easter you and I will sing "Christ is risen!" for the last time ... And as if preparing for the Easter holidays for the last time, let us be vigilant, let us keep watching. To watch means to be vigilant concerning the purity of your heart after all.

“Those who have not yet approached Confession or received Holy Communion, hurry to the Sacraments of God. For blessed is the servant whom the Lord find watchful, but unworthy is the one whom he will find sleeping”, His Beatitude Sviatoslav called on.

The UGCC Department for Information


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