2020-01-24 11:30

January 23, at the Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church took place the annual Ecumenical Prayer for the Unity of Christians and Peace in Ukraine, which was held in the frameworks of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionally observed from the 18th to the 25th January – the octave of St. Peter and St. Paul. The theme for the week of prayer in 2020, “They showed us unusual kindness...”, inspired by Acts 28:2.

In the common prayer, initiated and organized by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of UCU participated representatives of Christian Churches and communities of Lviv.

In particular, the Bishop-Assistant of the Lviv Archdiocese of the UGCC, His Excellency Volodymyr (Hrutsa), emphasized during the sermon:

“We are united by the fact that we are human beings. We were born humans, became Christians. Of course, we bear a wound of a certain division among us, lack of unity, but nothing prevented us from standing around the Word of God today and praying together. We pray together with our lips, but also with our hearts . Because Jesus gave the commandment to go, preach and teach. And, we, His disciples of the 21st century, do that.”

Representative of an organizing institution, IES employee Rev. Roman Fihas expressed a gratitude to each of the present clergyman for "an ardent word, with which you encourage us to seek God, to seek unity."

The rector of UCU Rev. Bohdan Prah underlined: "We prayed together today, were have been together, but I encourage all of us to pray for unity every day!"

In his welcoming speech, the parish priest  of St. Sophia OCU in Zolochiv Rev. Vasyl Sagan shared his thoughts: “Unfortunately, today we sometimes feel divided in many aspects, including the Church calendar. But we hope that the Lord will honor us with this great gift, called unity. Christ is born!”

The dean of the Theological Faculty of Lviv Orthodox Theological Academy of the OCU, Archpriest Nazarii Lozynsky emphasized: “Today all of us, the clergy and laity, stand before this Word of God, which is like the guard of our lives. And our prayers will be in vain, our love will be in vain if these prayers and this love for one another do not look upon the Word of God, if that Word would not be in our hearts. And today I wish all of us to have the Word of God in our hearts and have a Christ among us."

The senior pastor of the Church “Gethsemane”, Rev. Valery Marchenko said: “I want to remind the Bible story when Jesus Christ went to the Garden of Gethsemane and asked the disciples to pray. And then was his prayer to the Father, conversation with the Father, prayer that gives strength and unity with the Father: in God, everything is possible. And this testifies about the strength that prayer has".

It is noteworthy that the ecumenical common prayer was also joined by the Responsible for promoting the ecumenical movement and inter-religious dialogue in the Lviv Archdiocese, Rev. Rostyslav Budzan.

Natalia Baida