2017-02-02 09:30

The Ecumenical prayer was held within the Week of Prayers for Christian Unity (January 18 - 25). The prayer was attended by the representatives of various Churches and Christian communities of Lviv.

During the Prayer Mychailo Khromiak, Dean of correspondence department at the Lviv Theological Seminary of Evangelical Christian Church, addressed the audience with his greeting words. In the sermon, he noted that we all begin to understand our own sinfulness when we truly start to know God. He also said that, by perceiving God, we understand the meaningfulness of our lives. Everything that happens in our lives begins to acquire content, acquire aims. Mychailo Khromiak also drew attention to the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. He said that Christians must realize that each group (either Catholics or Protestants), becoming separated, both lost.

Father Vasyl Sahan, Dean of Zolochiv deanery UAOC, wished to all the blessings of the Lord for understanding unknown to us things." During wartime to hear and accept the call of love to the enemy. Our ears hear, but the human mind can not comprehend this. Christ not only called us to love our enemies, He himself showed the example. We should start to look for love and reconciliation in our hearts and let them out – to the people,"- Father Vasyl said.

Rector of the Lviv Theological Seminary (UAOC, Ukrainian Bible Society’s employee, Father Vasyl Lutsyshyn in his greeting said: "God with great love plunged into our problems, in our sins. If we turn away from other people's problems, we can not say that we are Christians. When we have an understanding between us, then all obstacles will be gone."

Father Hryhorii Draus, Prior of the John Paul II Roman Catholic Parish in Lviv and prison chaplain of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, accurately remarked that reconciliation can change our vision.

Father Tadeos Gevorgyan, Rector of the Cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church, pointed out that our ecumenism is not only that we have to come together, but also it is how we are spiritually united. He also noted that those guys who are fighting for us in the East, serve the best way of Christianity.

Priest of UOC KP, Bohdan Kulchytskyi began his greeting with the words of Christ: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have a love for one another." He spoke of his recent visit to Kyiv, where he was at the Institutska street. That is where the Revolution of Dignity started. Father Bohdan was able to celebrate Mass in the chapel in the memory of heroes of Heavenly hundred. "This is the place, where the blood of people, who gave their lives with love of neighbor spilled. The revolution continues, but it has moved to the eastern part of our country,"- Father Bohdan said.

Chaplain of Hetman Sahaidachnyi Army Academy, Brother Yurii Balukh asked the audience to share their love. "Let the neighbor, after talking with you to go as a better, kinder person. Do not be afraid to share, let you never lack the sincerity," – Brother Yurii stressed.

Father Roman Fihas, Researcher at the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, concluded that we were praying for unity among Christians and peace in Ukraine. For this peace we must also fight.

Participants had the opportunity to see original Christmas nativity scene performed by students of the Ukrainian Catholic University, with whom they visited the front-line zone of the ATO.

The leading theme of the worldwide prayer initiative in 2017 is "Reconciliation - the love of Christ compels us." This theme was inspired by the words of the Apostle Paul, in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 5, 14-22): "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died… All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." The love of Christ reconciled us to God, that makes us able to be witnesses of reconciliation and unity.


Nataliia Likhnovska

Photos by Olexander Laskin