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Statement of the Executive Committee
of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine 

Thursday, 24 February 2022

The Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) condemns the escalation of tensions and violence in the Ukraine marked by Russia’s invasion, which was seen today, Thursday, 24 February 2022, in the form of militarization and bombing in various Ukrainian cities. 

In solidarity with the Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, in unison with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with the people of Ukraine as well as with Canadians of Ukrainian origin and descent, we encourage the faithful and all people of good will to pray for the imminent restoration of peace, dialogue, and human fraternity. 

Conscious of the regrettable lessons about violence which we have all learned throughout human history, we implore all involved to pursue non-violent means to resolve disputes and disagreements. The use of military force does not favour dialogue and peace; rather, it endangers innocent human life, the dignity of the human person and the security and safety of all the people caught up in this conflict. 

Jesus came to bring the gift of peace, and it is through Him that new pathways of dialogue can be opened, even when all other avenues appear closed. With Pope Francis, who has entrusted this situation to the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, we ask Our Lady, through her powerful intercession, to open hearts so that anger, resentment, and division may start to be healed and that any further escalation of unnecessary violence may be avoided. 

On the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 22 February 2022, the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church issued this

APPEAL
of His Beatitude Sviatoslav
to the Sons and Daughters of the Ukrainian People in Ukraine and Abroad,
and to all People of Good Will

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The recognition by the president of the Russian Federation of the ‘independence and sovereignty’ of the self-proclaimed LNR and DNR [separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine militarily occupied by Russian proxy forces since 2014] creates serious challenges and threats for the entire international community and for international law, on the basis of which today people and their nations exist and cooperate. Irreparable damage has been done to the very logic of international relations, which are called to safeguard peace and the just order of societies, the supremacy of law, the accountability of state powers, the defence of the human being, human life and natural rights. Today all of humanity has been placed in danger—that the powerful have a right to impose themselves on whomever they wish, with no regard for the rule of law.

In its decision the government of the Russian Federation unilaterally withdrew from a lengthy peace process, tasked with ensuring the restoration of dignified conditions for life on the territories controlled by Russia in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, for those impacted by Russian military aggression. The war, initiated against our people in 2014, has inflicted deep wounds on many of our fellow citizens: thousands killed, wounded, left in solitude. Yesterday’s step taken by the president of the Russian Federation destroyed foundational principles for a long-term process of restoring peace in Ukraine, created the path for a new wave of military aggression against our state, opened the doors for a full scale military operation against the Ukrainian people.

We consider the defense of our native land, our historical memory and our hope, our God-given right to exist to be the personal responsibility and sacred duty of the citizens of Ukraine. The defence of our Fatherland is our natural right and civic duty. We are strong when we are together. Now has come the time to unite our efforts in order to defend the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Ukrainian state. The duty and responsibility of all of humanity—to actively work to avert war and protect a just peace.

We are convinced that the world cannot develop and find answers for the challenges of today by resorting to might and violence, by showing disdain for shared human values and the truth of the Gospel. I call upon all people of good will to not ignore the suffering of the Ukrainian people, brought on by Russian military aggression. We are a people who love peace. And precisely for that reason we are ready to defend it and fight for it.

Today we call out in prayer to the Almighty Creator, with a special appeal for wisdom for those entrusted with making important decisions for society, in whose hands lies the fate of humanity. We ask the Heavenly Father for assistance in restoring a just peace on Ukrainian land.

We pray especially for those who defend Ukraine, who in these days are for us an example of loving sacrifice and dedicated service to their people. May the merciful Lord protect them from every danger and crown their efforts with the victory of truth and good.

We call for the gracious blessing of a loving God and Creator upon Ukraine and its people!

The blessing of the Lord be upon you.

🞤 SVIATOSLAV

ЗВЕРНЕННЯ
Блаженнішого Святослава
до синів і дочок українського народу в Україні та на поселеннях сущих
та усіх людей доброї волі

Дорогі брати і сестри!

Визнання президентом Російської Федерації «незалежності та суверенітету» самопроголошених ЛНР і ДНР створює серйозні виклики та загрози для міжнародної спільноти і міжнародного права, на основі якого сьогодні існують та взаємодіють народи та їхні держави. Завдано непоправної шкоди самій логіці міждержавних відносин, що покликані забезпечувати мир і справедливий устрій суспільств, верховенство закону, підзвітність влади, захист людини, її життя та природних прав. Сьогодні все людство опинилося у небезпеці того, що право сильного нав’язуватиме себе кожному, нехтуючи силу права.

Своїм рішенням влада Російської Федерації в односторонньому порядку вийшла із тривалого мирного процесу, завданням якого було забезпечити відновлення гідних людини умов життя на територіях ОРДЛО України, що постраждали внаслідок російської збройної агресії. Війна, розв’язана проти нашого народу у 2014 році, залишила глибокі рани на долях багатьох із наших співвітчизників: тисячі убитих, поранених, самотніх. Вчорашній крок президента РФ зруйнував базові принципи тривалого процесу відновлення миру в Україні, створив можливості для нової хвилі збройної агресії проти нашої держави, відкрив двері для повномасштабної воєнної операції проти українського народу.

Особистою відповідальністю та святим обов’язком громадян України сьогодні вважаємо захист рідної землі, нашої пам’яті та надії, нашого Богом дарованого права на існування. Захист Батьківщини – це наше природне право і наш громадянський обов’язок. Ми сильні, коли ми разом. Тепер настав час об’єднати наші зусилля для того, щоб обстояти незалежність, територіальну цілісність і суверенітет Української Держави. Обов’язком і відповідальністю всього людства сьогодні є діяльна турбота про запобігання війні та захист справедливого миру.

Ми переконані, що світ не може розвиватися та знаходити відповіді на виклики сучасності, вдаючись до сили та насилля, нехтуючи загальнолюдськими цінностями та євангельською істиною. Закликаємо всіх людей доброї волі не стояти осторонь страждань українського народу, спричинених російською військовою агресією. Ми народ, що любить мир. І саме тому готові обстоювати його і за нього віддано боротися.

Звертаємося сьогодні в молитві до Творця всесвіту з особливим проханням про мудрість для тих, хто уповноважений ухвалювати суспільно важливі рішення, у чиїх руках опинилася доля людства. Просимо Небесного Отця про допомогу для відновлення справедливого миру на українській землі.

Особливу молитву складаємо за захисників України, що цими днями є для нас прикладом жертовної любові та відданого служіння своєму народові. Нехай милосердний Господь захистить їх від усяких небезпек і обдарує їхні зусилля остаточною звитягою правди і добра.

Закликаємо щире благословення люблячого Бога і Творця на Україну та її народ!

Благословення Господнє на вас!

🞤 СВЯТОСЛАВ

Prayer for the Afflicted People of Ukraine in Time of War

O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, we entreat You to hear the earnest prayer of Your beloved Church of Kyivan Rus’ for her deeply afflicted children abiding in the land of Ukraine. Behold their grave sorrow and grievous plight, and speedily come to their aid. Deliver Your vulnerable people from unjust aggressors, foreign invasion and the terror of war. Strengthen courageous defenders of the nation to fight virtuously, inspired more by love of those they protect than hatred of the enemy.

O compassionate Lord, shelter the displaced, heal the wounded, console the orphan, protect the widow, comfort those who mourn, and mercifully receive into Your Kingdom those who have nobly died guarding their homeland against every aggression. Quickly make cease the spilling of blood of friend and foe alike, yet stir many to bravely struggle for that true justice which alone can bring lasting peace.

O kind-hearted Lord, as You are our peace, soften the hearts of the unmerciful and convert those who promote hostilities toward reconciliation, so that Your beloved children of the land of Ukraine, may abide in that tranquility, justice and freedom which reflects your Kingdom, where You reign with Your eternal Father, and Your most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now, and forever and ever. Amen.

Молитва за Многостраждальний Український Народ у Час Війни

Господи Ісусе Христе Боже наш, благаємо Тебе, вислухай щиру молитву Твоєї улюбленої Церкви Київської Русі за важко страждаючих дітей українського краю. Споглянь милостивим оком на їх лихоліття та ласкаво поспіши на допомогу. Звільни свій беззахисний народ від несправедливих загарбників, нашестя агресорів та терору війни. Зміцни силою Твоєю усіх доблесних і відважних захисників для доброчесної боротьби, щоб вони радше керувалися любов’ю до беззахисних, аніж ненавистю до ворогів.

О Премилосердний Господи, захорони переселенців, зціли поранених, борони сиріт, підтримай вдів, потіш скорботних та ласкаво прийми до Твого Царства всіх, хто благородно віддав своє життя в обороні Батьківщини від нападів ворогів. Поспіши зупинити кровопролиття як друга, так і недруга та запали серця багатьох до мужньої боротьби за істинну справедливість, що є джерелом тривалого миру.

О добросердий Господи, Ти – наш мир, пом’якши зачерствілі серця, наверни тих, хто сприяє воєнним діям, до примирення, щоб Твій улюблений українській народ втішався   миром, справедливістю та свободою – ознаками Твого Царства, в якому Ти царюєш  з Предвічним Твоїм Отцем, і Всесвятим, Благим і Животворним Твоїм Духом, нині,  і повсякчас, і на віки віків. Амінь.

Sunday of the Fearful Judgement

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 20 February 2022.

Troparion, Tone 6
Angelic powers were upon Your tomb * and the guards became like dead men; * Mary stood before Your tomb * seeking Your most pure body. * You captured Hades without being overcome by it. * You met the Virgin and granted life. * O Lord, risen from the dead, * glory be to You!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 1
When You come on earth, O God, in glory, * and the universe trembles, * while the river of fire flows before the seat of judgement, * and the books are opened and all secrets disclosed, * then deliver me from the unquenchable fire, * and count me worthy to stand at Your right hand, * O Judge who are most just.

Prokeimenon, Tone 5
Great is our Lord and great is His strength; * and of His knowledge there is no end.
Verse: Praise the Lord, for a psalm is good; may praise be sweet to Him. (Psalm 146:5,1)

Epistle : 1 Corinthians 8:8–9:2
A reading from the First Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians.
Brothers and Sisters, ‘Food will not bring us close to God.’ We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall. Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

Alleluia, Tone 8
Verse: Come, let us rejoice in the Lord; let us acclaim God our Saviour.
Verse: Let us come before His face with praise, and acclaim Him in psalms. (Psalm 94:1,2)

Gospel : Matthew 25:31–46
The Lord said: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, ”Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Rejoice in the Lord, O you just;* praise befits the righteous. (Psalm 32:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association—established in 1926 by Pope Pius XI—has been working with partners in Ukraine since 1991 to foster the post-Soviet restoration of our Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and to provide material aid to those in need in the country. Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and ongoing proxy occupation of Eastern Ukraine, tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes, and millions are struggling to access vital services including many in need of medical attention.

In the face of possible further Russian aggression, CNEWA and Caritas Ukraine are preparing local centres to welcome displaced persons with food, medicine, blankets, and clothing.

Please pray for peace, for the people of Ukraine, and for the work of CNEWA and its partners. Donations to assist the work of these organisations can be made via the CNEWA Canada website or by phoning 1 866 322 4441.

Sunday of the Prodigal Son

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 13 February 2022.

Troparion, Tone 5
Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word, * co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, * and born of the Virgin for our salvation. * For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death * and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 3
Foolishly have I fled from Your glory, O Father, * wasting the wealth You gave me on vices. * Therefore, I offer You the words of the Prodigal: * Loving Father, I have sinned before You. * Take me, for I repent, and make me as one of Your hired hands.

Prokeimenon, Tone 5
You, O Lord, will guard us and will keep us * from this generation and for ever.
Verse: Save me, O Lord, for there is no longer left a just man. (Psalm 11:8,2)

Epistle : 1 Corinthians 6:12–20
A reading from the First Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians.
Brothers and Sisters, ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are beneficial. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything. ‘Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,’ and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, ‘The two shall be one flesh.’ But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: Your mercies, O Lord, I will sing for ever; from generation to generation I will announce Your truth with my mouth.
Verse: For You have said: Mercy shall be built up for ever; in the heavens Your truth shall be prepared. (Psalm 88:2,3)

Gospel : Luke 15:11–32
The Lord told this parable: ‘There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.” So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.’” So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate.

‘Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.” Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, “Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!” Then the father said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.”’

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
(Sunday of the Publican & the Pharisee)

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 6 February 2022.

Troparion, Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel * the glorious news of the resurrection * and cast off the ancestral condemnation, * they proudly told the apostles: * ‘Death has been plundered! * Christ our God is risen, * granting to the world great mercy.’

Troparion, Tone 1
Rejoice, full of grace, Virgin Mother of God! * From you there dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * who enlightens those who dwell in darkness. * And you, O righteous Elder, be glad! * You received in your embrace * the Liberator of our souls, * who grants us resurrection.

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

Kontakion, Tone 3
Let us bring sighs of sorrow to the Lord as did the Publican * and approach the Master as sinners, * for He desires salvation for everyone. * He grants forgiveness to all who repent. * For as God, the One-who-is, co-eternal with the Father, He became flesh for us.

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 1
By Your birth, You sanctified a virgin womb * and fittingly blessed the hands of Simeon. * You have come also now and saved us, O Christ our God; * give peace to Your community in time of war, * and strengthen its rulers, whom You love, * for You alone, * are the Lover of mankind.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3
How great are Your works, O Lord * You have made all things in wisdom.
Verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul: O Lord my God, You are exceedingly great. (Psalm 103:24,1)

Epistle : 2 Timothy 3:10–15
A reading from the Second Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to Timothy.
Timothy, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, and my suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: Poise yourself and advance in triumph and reign in the cause of truth, and meekness, and justice.
Verse: You have loved justice and hated iniquity. (Psalm 44:5,8)

Gospel : Luke 18:10–14
The Lord told this parable: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.’

Instead of “It is truly...” we sing: O God-bearing Virgin, hope of Christians, protect and guard and save all those who put their trust in you.
Irmos, Tone 3: In the law, the shadow, and the scriptures, we the faithful see a figure: every male child that opens the womb shall be sanctified to God. Therefore do we magnify the first-born Word and Son of the Father who is without beginning, the first-born Child of a Mother who had not known man. 

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * I will take the chalice of salvation; * and I will call upon the name of the Lord. (Psalm 116:13) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost
(Sunday of Zacchaeus)

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 30 January 2022.

Troparion, Tone 3
Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice, * for the Lord has done a mighty deed with his arm. * He trampled death by death; He became the first born of the dead; * He saved us from the abyss of Hades * and granted great mercy to the world.

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

Kontakion, Tone 3
You rose from the tomb, O compassionate Lord, * and led us out from the gates of death. * Today Adam exults and Eve rejoices, * and the prophets together with the patriarchs * unceasingly acclaim the divine might of Your power.

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 3
Today the Virgin stands before us in the church, * and together with the choirs of saints invisibly prays to God for us. * Angels are worshipping with hierarchs, * apostles exult with prophets, * for the Mother of God prays in our behalf to the eternal God.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3
Sing to our God, sing; * sing to our King, sing.
Verse: Clap your hands, all you nations; shout unto God with the voice of joy.

Epistle : 1 Timothy 4:9–15
A reading from the First Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to Timothy.
Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and struggle, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. These are the things you must insist on and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: In You, O Lord, have I hoped that I may not be put to shame for ever.
Verse: Be a protector unto me, O God, and a house of refuge to save me.

Gospel : Luke 19:1–10
At that time, Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’ Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Pray for Ukraine

STATEMENT BY THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF CANADA
CONCERNING THE CURRENT POLITICAL AND HUMANITARIAN CRISES
IN UKRAINE

22 January 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters—Christ is Among Us!

During these most difficult days when Ukraine endures the threat of Russian invasion, the clergy, religious and faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada reach out to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We want to ensure you that we are with you day and night in sincere and earnest prayer and support. For some time now, our faithful have been asked to offer prayers for peace in Ukraine both in their churches and in their homes. Know that we remain united with you even more now during these threatening times.

Although many in the world are not surprised at Russia’s conduct in the last months, others are perplexed as to why it sees a need, in this day and age, to strive toward imperialistic ambitions. For our part, we simply and sincerely ask our brothers and sisters in Russia to reconsider the motives of their leaders in re-igniting the hardship that the citizens of Ukraine have undergone in the last seven years. Surely a neighbourly solution of reconciling divergent political visions will prove more successful in building solidarity and mutual beneficial collaboration. We also appeal to our shared Christian faith which flows from the ancient baptism of St. Volodymyr in the Dnipro River in the 10th Century.

We furthermore appeal to all civil authorities that have any influence over the situation—above all, Russia—to consider peaceful solutions to the conflict. This would not necessarily mean a compromise, but would prove to be a just and fair and even magnanimous solution. History teaches us that forced compromises, unnecessary subjugation and unjust resolutions often only fester and eventually erupt in ways unforeseen which are often more devastating than an earlier bilateral resolution would have been. Furthermore, using a third country as a pawn in a game of posturing between outside powers is also not only unjust, but it dangerously threatens to ignite a long-lasting and bitter quest for justice that hampers any efforts toward a peaceful co-existence among peoples.

Finally, we also appeal to all people of goodwill to see this not merely as another distant conflict on the other side of the world that we read about in the press.  This is a conflict that has already brought tragedy and hardship upon millions of individuals and families. It is a tragedy that will not go away, but rather one that threatens to spill out into a wider global conflict. We owe it to ourselves to be informed about the history and the truth of the tensions of the last decade and especially since Ukraine declared its independence in 1991. We believe that by the grace and mercy of our Lord, for which we humbly pray that the world and especially those nations directly involved in the conflict, can arrive at a peaceful and satisfactory resolution that would prove to be long-lasting.

This is not a time for audacious sable rattling nor for drawn out political diplomacy which, as we have seen in the past, is only as effective as there is honour and good will. Rather, we believe that what is especially required in times like these is earnest prayer that peace will prevail and that we all will be inspired by the Lord’s appeal to truth (John 8:32), peace and holiness (Hebrews 12:14). May the great Christian nations now at the potential epicenter of the growing conflict show themselves to be the beacons of light and hope that are so desperately needed in a world darkened by disease, intrigue and avarice. Is a non-violent solution impossible even at this late hour? Is there not a solution that can restore the hope and possibilities that was experienced by the former Soviet nations when the Soviet Union loosened its hold on peoples long pining for freedom and self-determination? We believe that which Christ affirmed to us by His eternal Word, namely, ‘with men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’ (Mark 10:27)

Dearly Beloved, we call upon you in these critical days to direct your efforts in the following ways:

Be informed. Know the facts and fight falsehood in a post-truth public debate being warped by Russian disinformation. Inform others. The world cannot look away; you should not look away. Seek and share the truth, which gives authentic freedom and wisdom.

Support. There is a huge humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. People near the frontline often lack the basics—clean water, fuel, food, clothes, medicine. Heal the wounds. Help the victims of this senseless invasion. Provide your financial support through the established agencies in your area or through the legitimate channels currently being developed.

Pray. Pray for peace and justice in Ukraine. God is the Lord of history and the Lover of Humankind. His grace changes the most hardened hearts. Ukraine was brutally invaded, its territory annexed, the society traumatized. May God convert the promoters of violence. The Lord miraculously liberated the peoples of the Soviet Union without war. May God’s gift of human dignity be honoured and protected. May God protect Ukraine and its people from further harm.

Christ is among us! He is and will be!

+ Lawrence Huculak, OSBM
Metropolitan Archbishop of Winnipeg

+ David Motiuk
Eparchial Bishop of Edmonton,
Administrator of the Eparchy of New Westminster

+ Bryan Bayda, CSsR
Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon,
Administrator of the Eparchy of Toronto & Eastern Canada

PRAYER FOR THE AFFLICTED PEOPLE OF UKRAINE IN TIME OF WAR

O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, we entreat You to hear the earnest prayer of Your beloved Church of Kyivan Rus’ for her deeply afflicted children abiding in the land of Ukraine. Behold their grave sorrow and grievous plight, and speedily come to their aid. Deliver Your vulnerable people from unjust aggressors, foreign invasion and the terror of war. Strengthen courageous defenders of the nation to fight virtuously, inspired more by love of those they protect than hatred of the enemy.

O compassionate Lord, shelter the displaced, heal the wounded, console the orphan, protect the widow, comfort those who mourn, and mercifully receive into Your Kingdom those who have nobly died guarding their homeland against every aggression. Quickly make cease the spilling of blood of friend and foe alike, yet stir many to bravely struggle for that true justice which alone can bring lasting peace.

O kind-hearted Lord, as You are our peace, soften the hearts of the unmerciful and convert those who promote hostilities toward reconciliation, so that Your beloved children of the land of Ukraine, may abide in that tranquility, justice and freedom which reflects your Kingdom, where You reign with Your eternal Father, and Your most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now, and forever and ever. Amen.

ЗВЕРНЕННЯ УКРАЇНСЬКИХ КАТОЛИЦЬКИХ ЄПИСКПІВ КАНАДИ
ЩОДО СУЧАСНОГО ПОЛІТИЧНОГО ТА ГУМАНІТАРНОГО СТАНУ
В УКРАЇНІ

22 січня 2022

 Дорогі брати і сестри у Христі—Христос Посеред Нас!

У ці важкі дні коли Україна перебуває у небезпеці російського військового вторгнення, духовенство, монахині, монахи та всі вірні Української Католицької Церкви в Канаді звертаємося зі словами підтримки для наших братів і сестер в Україні. Ми хочемо запевнити вас у наших щирих і невпинних молитвах. Від самого початку російської війни проти України ми усі у наших церквах, та домівках молимося за мир в Україні. Прошу знайте, що у ці небезпечні часи ми з вами.

Можливо, багато хто не здивований поведінкою Росії в останні місяці, проте нам тяжко зрозуміти, чому Росія в наш час має імперіалістичні амбіцій. Зі свого боку ми звертаємося до росіян, щоб вони переглянули мотиви своїх лідерів у війні проти України останні сім років. Безсумнівно, добросусідські відносини і взаємна повага є найкращим способом узгодження різних політичних поглядів у побудові солідарності та взаємовигідного співробітництва. Ми також звертаємося до нашої спільної християнської спадщини у Володимировому хрещенні тисячу років тому.

Ми закликаємо всі держави, які мають будь-який вплив на ситуацію, – а перш за все Росії – щоб розглянути мирні варіанти вирішення конфлікту. Справедливий і чесний компроміс не обов’язково означає програш, але може виявитися благословенним рішенням. Історія вчить нас, що несправедливі рішення вимушені компроміси, часто закривають гнійну рану яка з часом переростає у набагато більшу проблему. Більше того, використання іншої країни як пішака у власній грі є не тільки несправедливим, але загрожує розпалити тривалі й гіркі пошуки справедливості, які заважатимуть будь-яким зусиллям мирного співіснування між народами.

Нарешті, ми закликаємо всіх людей доброї волі не сприймати російську агресію в Україні як далекий конфлікт на іншому кінці світу, про який ми почули з новин. Цей конфлікт, уже приніс горе і біду для мільйонів людей в Україні. Ця трагедія, не зникає, а загрожує вилитися в глобальний конфлікт. Ми зобов’язані знати історію та правду напружених  відносин з Росією з часу проголошення Україною своєї незалежності у тисячу дев'ятсот дев'яносто першому році. Ми віримо і молимося, що з ласки Божої та Його милосердя наш Світ, а особливо ті країни, які безпосередньо залучені у війні, зможуть прийти до мирного і довготривалого вирішення цього конфлікту.

Це не час для зухвалого брязкання зброєю і навіть не час для політичної дипломатії, яка, як ми бачили в минулому, ефективна лише настільки, наскільки є честь і добра воля. Ні, ми віримо, що в такі часи як зараз, потрібна щира молитва, щоб ми всі були натхненні Господнім закликом до правди (Івана 8:32), миру і святості (Євреїв 12:14) і тоді запанує мир. Нехай великі християнські нації, які зараз знаходяться в епіцентрі зростаючого конфлікту, виявляться маяками світла і надії, які вкрай необхідні у світі, затьмареному війнами, хворобами та інтригами. Чи можливе мирне рішення? Рішення, яке може дати надію та можливості, як колись при розвалі Радянського Союзу народи які були у рабстві комуністичного режиму стали вільними і могли визначати своє майбутнє? Ми віримо в те, що нам сказав Христос, що є речі неможливі для людей, «але не в Бога; у Бога бо все можливо». (Марка 10:27)

Дорогі брати і сестри у Христі! У ці критичні дні ми звертаємося до вас з проханням:

Відстоюйте правду. Дізнавайтеся факти та боріться з брехнею та російською дезінформацією у світі пост-правди. Діліться правдою з іншими. Світ не повинен відвертатися, ви не повинні відводити погляд. Шукайте і діліться правдою, яка визволяє та дає мудрість.

Підтримуйте Україну. Україна переживає глибоку гуманітарну кризу. Людям на лінії розмежування бракує найнеобхіднішого — питної води, пального, продуктів харчування, одягу, ліків. Загоюйте рани. Допомагайте жертвам цього жорстокого вторгнення. Пожертви можна скласти через благодійні агентства у вашому регіоні або через нові законні канали, які зараз організовуються.

Моліться. Моліться за мир і справедливість в Україні. Бог є Господом історії і Чоловіколюбцем. Його благодать перемінює найчерствіші серця. На Україну жорстоко напали, захопили її територію, травмували її суспільство. Нехай Бог наверне серця тих, хто чинить насильство. Господь дивом визволив народи Радянського Союзу, який розпався без кровопролитних воєн. Нехай оберігається і шанується Божий дар людської гідності і життя. Нехай Бог оберігає Україну та її людей від лиха.

Христос Посеред Нас! Є і Буде!

+ Лаврентій Гуцуляк, ЧСВВ
Архиєпископ і Митрополит Вінніпезький

+ Давид Мотюк
Єпарх Едмонтонський,
Апостольський Адміністратор Нью-Вестмінстерської Єпархії

+ Браєн Байда, ЧНІ
Єпарх Саскатунський,
Апостольський Адміністратор Торонтонської Єпархії

МОЛИТВА ЗА МНОГОСТРАЖДАЛЬНИЙ УКРАЇНСЬКИЙ НАРОД У ЧАС ВІЙНИ

Господи Ісусе Христе Боже наш, благаємо Тебе, вислухай щиру молитву Твоєї улюбленої Церкви Київської Русі за важко страждаючих дітей українського краю. Споглянь милостивим оком на їх лихоліття та ласкаво поспіши на допомогу. Звільни свій беззахисний народ від несправедливих загарбників, нашестя агресорів та терору війни. Зміцни силою Твоєю усіх доблесних і відважних захисників для доброчесної боротьби, щоб вони радше керувалися любов’ю до беззахисних, аніж ненавистю до ворогів. О Премилосердний

Господи, захорони переселенців, зціли поранених, борони сиріт, підтримай вдів, потіш скорботних та ласкаво прийми до Твого Царства всіх, хто благородно віддав своє життя в обороні Батьківщини від нападів ворогів. Поспіши зупинити кровопролиття як друга, так і недруга та запали серця багатьох до мужньої боротьби за істинну справедливість, що є джерелом тривалого миру.

О добросердий Господи, Ти – наш мир, пом’якши зачерствілі серця, наверни тих, хто сприяє воєнним діям, до примирення, щоб Твій улюблений українській народ втішався миром, справедливістю та свободою – ознаками Твого Царства, в якому Ти царюєш з Предвічним Твоїм Отцем, і Всесвятим, Благим і Животворним Твоїм Духом, нині, і повсякчас, і на віки віків. Амінь.

Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 23 January 2022.

Troparion, Tone 2
When You went down to death, O Life Immortal, * You struck Hades dead with the blazing light of Your divinity. * When You raised the dead from the nether world, * all the powers of heaven cried out: * ‘O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory be to You!’

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

Kontakion, Tone 2
You rose from the tomb, O almighty Saviour; * and Hades, seeing this wonder, was stricken with fear; and the dead arose. * Creation saw and rejoices with You, and Adam exults. * And the world, my Saviour, sings Your praises for ever.

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 2
The tomb and death could not hold the Mother of God, * unceasing in her intercession and an unfailing hope of patronage, * for as the Mother of Life she was transferred to life * by Him Who had dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
The Lord is my strength and my song of praise, and He has become my salvation.
Verse: The Lord has indeed chastised me, but He has not delivered me to death. (Psalm 117:14,18)

Epistle : 1 Timothy 1:15–17
A reading from the First Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to Timothy.
Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: The Lord will hear you in the day of tribulation; the name of the God of Jacob will shield you.
Verse: Lord, grant victory to the king and hear us in the day that we shall call upon You. (Psalm 19:2,10)

Gospel : Luke 18:35-43
At that time, as Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’ Then he shouted, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He said, ‘Lord, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 16 January 2022.

Troparion, Tone 1
Though the stone was sealed by the Judeans, * and soldiers guarded Your most pure body, * You arose, O Saviour, on the third day, * and gave life to the world. * And so the heavenly powers cried out to You, O Giver of Life: * Glory to Your resurrection, O Christ! * Glory to Your kingdom! * Glory to Your saving plan, * O only Lover of mankind.

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

Kontakion, Tone 1
You arose in glory from the tomb * and with Yourself You raised the world. * All humanity acclaims You as God, * and death has vanished. * Adam exults, O Master, * and Eve, redeemed now from bondage, cries out for joy: * ‘You are the One, O Christ, Who offer resurrection to all.’

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 1
When Gabriel uttered to you, O Virgin, his ‘Rejoice!’ * at that sound the Master of all became flesh in you, the Holy Ark. * As the just David said, * you have become wider than the heavens carrying your Creator. * Glory to Him Who dwelt in you! * Glory to Him Who came forth from you! * Glory to Him Who freed us through birth from you! 

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in You.
Verse: Rejoice in the Lord, O you just; praise befits the righteous. (Psalm 32:22,1)

Epistle : Colossians 3:12–16
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Colossians.
Brothers and Sisters, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

Alleluia, Tone 8
Verse: God gives me vindication, and has subdued people under me.
Verse: Making great the salvation of the king, and showing mercy to His anointed, to David, and to His posterity forever. (Psalm 17:48,51)

Gospel : Luke 18:18–27
A certain ruler asked Jesus, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother.”’ He replied, ‘I have kept all these since my youth.’ When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ Those who heard it said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ He replied, ‘What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.’

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Sunday after Theophany

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 9 January 2022.

First Antiphon
Verse: When Israel came forth from Egypt, * the house of Jacob from an alien people.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * O Saviour, save us.

Verse: Judah became His sanctuary, * Israel His dominion.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * O Saviour, save us.

Verse: The sea beheld this and fled, * the Jordan turned back on its course.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * O Saviour, save us

Verse: Why was it, O sea, that you fled, * that you, O Jordan, turned back on your course?
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * O Saviour, save us.

Third Antiphon
Verse: Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord, * let us acclaim God, our Saviour.
Refrain: Son of God, baptized by John in the Jordan, * save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Verse: Let us come before His face with praise, * and acclaim Him in psalms.
Refrain: Son of God, baptized by John in the Jordan, * save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Verse: For God is the great Lord, * and the great king over all the earth.
Refrain: Son of God, baptized by John in the Jordan, * save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Entrance verse: Come, let us worship * and fall down before Christ.
Refrain: Son of God, baptized by John in the Jordan, * save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Troparion, Tone 1
When You, O Lord, were baptized in the Jordan, * worship of the Trinity was revealed; * the voice of the Father bore witness to You, * naming You the beloved Son, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the word’s certainty. * Glory to You, O Christ God, * who appeared and enlightened the world.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 4
Today, You have appeared to the world * and Your light, O Lord, has been signed on us, * who with knowledge sing Your praises. * You have come, You have appeared, O unapproachable Light.

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord; * God the Lord has appeared to us.
Verse: Give thanks to the Lord for He is good * for His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 117:26-27,1)

Epistle : Ephesians 4:7–13
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.
Brothers and Sisters, each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, ‘When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.’ (When it says, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.) The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.

Alleluia, Tone 8
Verse: Bring to the Lord, you sons of God; bring to the Lord young rams.
Verse: The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory has thundered, the Lord reigns over vast waters. (Psalm 28:1,3)

Gospel : 4:12–17
At that time, Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’

Instead of “It is truly...” we sing:
O my soul, magnify Christ the King, baptized in the Jordan.
Irmos: Every tongue is at a loss to praise you as is your due, O Mother of God. Even a spirit from above is filled with dizziness when seeking to sing your praises. But since you are good accept our faith, for you know well our love inspired by God. For it is you who protect all Christians; therefore, we magnify you. 

Сommunion Hymn
The grace of God has appeared * bringing salvation to all. (Titus 2:11) * Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

Instead of ‘Blessed is He who comes...’ we sing:
All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is baptized in the Jordan. (x1)

Instead of ‘We have seen the true light...’ we sing:
All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is baptized in the Jordan. (x1)

Instead of ‘May our mouths...’ and ‘Blessed be the Name...’ we sing:
All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is baptized in the Jordan. (x3) 

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Sunday before Theophany

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 2 January 2022.

Troparion, Tone 7
By Your cross You destroyed death; * You opened Paradise to the thief; * You changed the lamentation of the myrrh-bearers to joy, * and charged the apostles to proclaim * that You are risen, O Christ our God, * offering great mercy to the world.

Troparion, Tone 4
Make ready, O Zebulon, * and prepare yourself, O Nephtali; * O River Jordan, stop and receive with joy * the Master coming to be baptized. * O Adam, rejoice with the first mother, Eve, * and do not hide yourselves as before in Paradise. * For, having seen you unclothed, * Christ has appeared to clothe you with the first robe; * He has appeared to renew all creation.

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

Kontakion, Tone 7
No longer shall the dominion of death be able to hold humanity, * for Christ went down shattering and destroying its powers. * Hades is bound. * The prophets exult with one voice. * The Saviour has come for those with faith, saying: * ‘Come forth, O faithful, to the resurrection!’

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 4
Today the Lord stood in Jordan’s current telling John: * Do not be afraid to baptize Me, * for I have come to save Adam, the first man.

Prokeimenon, Tone 6
Save Your people, O Lord, * and bless Your inheritance.
Verse: Unto You I will cry, O Lord my God, lest You turn from me in silence. (Psalm 27:9,1)

Epistle : 2 Timothy 4:5–8
A reading from the Second Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to Timothy.
Timothy, my son, as for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully. As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Alleluia, Tone 8
Verse: God, be merciful to us and bless us.
Verse: Make the light of Your face shine upon us and have mercy on us. (Psalm 66:2)

Gospel : Mark 1:1–8
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,”’ John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Sunday after the Nativity

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 26 December 2021.

First Antiphon
Verse: I will confess You, Lord, with all my heart, * I will declare all Your wondrous deeds.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * O Saviour, save us.

Verse: In the council of the just and the congregation, * great are the works of the Lord, conforming to His will in every way.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * O Saviour, save us.

Verse: His work is filled with praise and majesty, * and His righteousness endures forever.
Refrain: Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * O Saviour, save us.

Third Antiphon
Verse: Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord, * let us acclaim God, our Saviour.
Refrain: Son of God, born of a Virgin, * save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Verse: Let us come before His face with praise, * and acclaim Him in psalms.
Refrain: Son of God, born of a Virgin, * save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Verse: For God is the great Lord, and the great king over all the earth.
Refrain: Son of God, born of a Virgin, * save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Entrance Verse: Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ.
Refrain: Son of God, born of a Virgin, * save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Troparion, Tone 6
Angelic powers were upon Your tomb * and the guards became like dead men; * Mary stood before Your tomb * seeking Your most pure body. * You captured Hades without being overcome by it. * You met the Virgin and granted life. * O Lord, risen from the dead, * glory be to You!

Troparion, Tone 4
Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * made the light of knowledge dawn on the world: * through it, those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star * to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness, * and to know that You, the Dawn from on the high. * Glory to You, O Lord.

Troparion, Tone 2
O Joseph, announce to David, the ancestor of God, the news of the miracle: * You saw a virgin giving birth. * With the shepherds, you gave praise and with the Magi you worshipped; * they too were warned by an angel. * Pray to Christ our God to save our souls.

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

Kontakion, Tone 3
Today the divine David is filled with gladness; * Joseph along with James offers praises * for having received a crown through their kinship with Christ they rejoice * and sing of the One who inexpressibly was born on earth, * crying out, ‘O Gracious One, save those who worship You.’

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 3
The Virgin today gives birth to Him who is above all being; * the earth offers the cave to Him whom no one can approach; * Angel with shepherds give Him glory, * while Magi make their way with a star, * for to us is born a little Child—the pre-eternal God.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
God is wonderful in His saints, * the God of Israel.
Verse: In the churches bless God, the Lord from the fountains of Israel. (Psalm 67:36,27)

Epistle : Galatians 1:11–19
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Galatians.
Brothers and Sisters, the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, saying, ‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’ And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’ And again, ‘Here am I and the children whom God has given me.’ Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: Lord, remember David and all his meekness.
Verse: How he swore an oath to the Lord, and vowed to the God of Jacob. (Psalm 131:1,2)

Gospel : Matthew 2:13–23
When the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’ When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’ When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, ‘He will be called a Nazorean.’

Instead of ‘It is truly’ we sing: O my soul, magnify Christ the King born in a manger.
Irmos, Tone 1: A strange and glorious mystery do I behold: * the cave is heaven; * the Virgin, the throne of the cherubim; * the manger, a dwelling place * in which is laid Christ, the God Whom nothing can contain. * Singing His praises, we magnify Him.

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Rejoice in the Lord, O you just; * praise befits the righteous (Psalm 32:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

Instead of “Blessed is He who comes...” we sing: All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is born of a Virgin. (1х)

Instead of “We have seen the true light...” we sing: All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is born of a Virgin. (1х)

Instead of “May our mouths...” and “Blessed be the Name...” we sing: All creation is filled with rejoicing today, for Christ is born of a Virgin. (3x)

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Great Compline with Lytia

Celebrated by Father Yuriy at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria. 8PM 24 December 2021.

The service of Great Compline with Lytia is celebrated on the Eve of the Nativity of our Lord, and the evening of Theophany. Unlike regular compline, this service begins with incensing of the icons, with the Royal Doors open. The priest is vested in a bright epitrachelion. After the incensing, he intones the start of the service...

To follow along with the prayers and responses, please refer to the blingual booklet:
Great Compline with Lytia / Велике Повечір‘я з Литією
[PDF document links: right-click to view in another tab/window or save to your computer.)

Sunday before the Nativity

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 19 December 2021.

Troparion, Tone 5
Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word, * co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, * and born of the Virgin for our salvation. * For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh, to suffer death * and to raise the dead by His glorious resurrection.

Troparion, Tone 2
Great are the achievements of faith! * In the fountain of flames, the three holy youths rejoiced as by the water of rest, * and the prophet Daniel was revealed shepherding lions like sheep. * Through their intercession, O Christ God, * save our souls.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 6
Armed by the Being that defies description * You defied the man-made idol, O thrice blessed youth. * In the midst of the unbearable flames you stood and cried out to God: * ‘In Your mercy, O gracious One, hasten and come to our aid,’ * for You can do whatever You will.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Verse: Blessed are You, Lord God of our fathers, * and praised and glorified is Your Name forever.
Verse: For You are righteous in everything that You have done to us. (Daniel 3:26,27)

Epistle : Hebrews 11:9–10,17–23,32–40
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews.
Brothers and Sisters, by faith Abraham stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, ‘It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.’ He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, ‘bowing in worship over the top of his staff’. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial. By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have told us the work You did in their days.
Verse: You saved us from our oppressors and put to shame those who hate us. (Psalm 43:2,8)

Gospel : Matthew 1:1–25
An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaphthe father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, and Salathiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Rejoice in the Lord, O you just; * praise befits the righteous (Psalm 32:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Bishop David shares with us a Ukrainian folk tale for Christmas, the legend of the elderly grandmother and her search for the Christ child, and his reflections on our own journey to Bethlehem.

In English:

Unlike the elderly grandmother—baba—we know the road to Bethlehem, for today we have traveled together with the angels, the wise men and the shepherds to rejoice with Mary and Joseph in the birth of the Christ-Child, who came into this world, taking upon Himself flesh, becoming one of us, that we may know how precious and loved we are by God.

Let us get to know this Christ-Child better—one day at a time, throughout the entire year—by being every-more attentive to our relationship with God, to our faith, to our prayer, to our Church, so that when our family and friends, our neighbours and our community approach us and ask ‘Where is the Christ-Child?’, we may respond, ‘Yes, I know him! He lives here in my heart, here in my home with my family, here in my Church, here in my community. Yes, I know Him very well. Let me tell you about Him.’

And in this way the story of Christmas—of Jesus’ birth, of God’s presence among us—will continue to inspire the world, transforming it through peace and love into the Kingdom of God here on earth.

As we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, may Christ, truly bless you and your family with peace, love and joy, now and in the New Year!

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!

+Bishop David Motiuk

In Ukrainian:

А ми, дорогі браття і сестри?  У нас по іншому.  Бабця не знає дорогу до Дитятка Ісусa. А ми? МИ ЗНАЄМО дорогу до Вифлеєма. Сьогодні, ми разом з ангелами, мудрецями зі сходу та пастушками тішимося з Марією, із Йосифом про народження Дитятка Ісусa; народження того, хто прийшов в світ, беручи на себе людське тіло, став одним із нас, щоб ми знали і відчули Божу безмежну любов до кожного з нас.

То ж пізнаймо глибше Дитятко Ісуса – день за днем, протягом цілого року. Прислухаймося краще до нашого особистого відношення до Бога, до віри, до молитви, до церкви – щоб коли, чи то наша родина, чи друзі, чи в громаді нас запитають, «Де знаходиться Дитятко Ісус?» ми зможемо ïм відповісти: «я знаю його; він тут – у моïм серці, тут – у моïм домі, з моєю родиною, тут – у моïй церкві, в моïй громаді. Так, я знаю Ісуса дуже добре. Давайте, я вам розкажу все, що знаю про Нього.»

І таким чином, подія про Різдво – про народження Христа – ця вістка, що З нами Бог – надалі надихне у світ своє святе повітря, перетворюючи нашу земну кулю миром і любов’ю у Царство Боже між нами.

Святкуючи Празник Господнього Рождества, нехай Христос поблагословить Вас і Вашу сім’ю миром, любов’ю і радістю, зараз і в новому році!

Христос Раждається! Славіте Його!

+ Давид Мотюк

CHRISTMAS PASTORAL LETTER OF HIS BEATITUDE SVIATOSLAV

Most Reverend Archbishops and Metropolitans,
God-loving Bishops, Very Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics,
Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
in Ukraine and throughout the world

 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
good will toward men (Lk 2:14)

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Beloved in Christ!

Today we share with you a great joy that was first received and shared by nameless shepherds of Bethlehem, who outdoors in an open field watched over their flock in the middle of the night. As described by the evangelist Luke, when an angel of the Lord appeared to them, at first, they were filled with fear. But the angel spoke to them: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11). And then, when the shepherds heard the angelic choirs sing, ‘Glory to God in the highest,’ they said to one another: ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us’ (Lk 2: 15). And they went, they found Mary and Joseph with the Child, and, having given them due reverence, went out and told others about Jesus.

The good news of Christmas is a feast of trust—not only of trust shared among us, human beings, but, above all, of God’s trust in humankind. We often speak of our faith in God, but rarely do we make note of God’s good will towards us, His faith and trust in us. The Lord entrusted the first good news about the birth of the Divine Child to simple shepherds, and then He shared the Good News of the Gospel with the myrrh-bearing women, with fishermen and tax-collectors—with simple and largely unknown people.

In Christ’s Nativity, the Heavenly Father entrusts His Only-begotten Son to humanity, and God becomes man! The angelic choir proclaiming “peace on earth to men of good will” speaks to the fact that God sees man as worthy of his trust and favour, preference and good will (which is how we literally translate the Greek term, eudokia). He sees us as good and believes in us. He sees us not only as we are today, with all our weaknesses and sinfulness, our poverty and perplexity. The Son of God sees in us His Image. In His incarnation, He takes on our human nature and teaches us to see Him, the Saviour of the world, in a small child. Seeing us as people of His good will, He sees us as those who we can become by the power of His grace just as loving parents see in their child a talented future writer or artist, a good mother or tender and responsible father, the leader of a people or their mighty protector.

In this Christmas mystery, the figure of the Theotokos personifies the trust that we humans should foster towards our Creator and Saviour, in response to God’s trust in us. The Mother of God, who holds in her arms the tiny Jesus in a cold stable, teaches us that we can and must trust God and our neighbour, since the Lord loved us first and entrusted Himself to us. In receiving the word of the archangel, she gives God space in her own body, gives Him her humanity—her human nature. Then St. Joseph, the guardian of Jesus and His Mother, having learned that Mary is pregnant, at first thinks of quietly releasing her. But, when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said: Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’ (Mt 1:20), he believed, entrusted himself to God, and did everything as the angel commanded, justifying the Lord’s trust in him.

We live in a world where trust is not merely wounded, but under constant attack. A great crisis of trust is felt in different spheres of social and even church life. Through new communication technologies, the manipulation of truth, which has always existed throughout human history, today is carried with lightning speed all over the globe. We no longer know what to believe and whom to trust. Our understanding is permeated with the conviction that in the world there is no truth and no justice, and that at every step there is only deception, falsehood, and duplicity.

This dramatic situation is illustrated in the icon of the Nativity. The evil spirit, depicted in the form of an elderly man dressed in sheepskin, tempts Joseph, seeking to give rise to doubt in him regarding the Child and His Mother. This should surprise no one, for the devil, as the father of lies (see Jn 8:44) at every step seeks to sow mistrust and doubt regarding God’s good will towards us, and fosters interpersonal conflict at all levels, in personal, family, and community life.

The current pandemic has further increased this crisis of trust. Given that the virus hides inside a person, the other for me becomes a potential source of illness, and even death. This introduces into human relations elements of suspicion, fear, and escape.

Our attitude towards social and government institutions is also marked by mistrust. Various conspiracy allegations regarding the safety of the coronavirus vaccine augment a mistrust of authority, that is already prevalent in our society, and bring out in our fellow citizens even greater confusion and fear for the future. People don’t believe the government and other institutions called to care for the common good and for social health services, as is their responsibility. Possibly, because of the history of the 20th century, post-Soviet societies have a greater tendency, than do other parts of the world, to disbelieve government institutions, and thus easily become susceptible to all sorts of manipulation and propaganda. Similarly, in the politically polarized countries of the Western world, the spreading of fear and mistrust is also utilized as an instrument of political warfare. However, it is important to remember that when we adopt a principle of ‘I don’t believe anyone,’ we always play into someone else’s hands, someone exploits our disappointment for their own purposes. Mistrust destroys human relations at all levels. Mistrust destroys the family, society, a people, and nation!

In response to our present-day temptations regarding mistrust, the Lord Himself comes in order to reveal the truth and embrace us with His trust. On the vigil of the Nativity, we sing: ‘You have shone forth from a Virgin, O Christ, rational Sun of Righteousness. And a star showed You, Whom nothing can contain, contained in a cave. You led Magi to worship You and along with them we magnify You: Glory to You, O Giver of Life’ (Vespers Troparion). To celebrate Christ’s Nativity is to trust the Divine Child who conquers death and, by accepting human life, brings the gift of His Divine Life. Christmas is not some devotional tale but a unique event in history, which bears witness to the Lord’s trust in humankind. God believes in His creation. He believes in us more than we believe in ourselves.

Through faith in God, in His birth among us, let us restore our trust in a humanity that searches for Him! Let us be people of God’s favour and let us learn to place our favour in others—to see in them their good characteristics, gifts and talents, abilities, and elevated spirit. Although today the circumstances of a spreading virus at times require us to cover with protective masks our mouths and nostrils, but in God’s name, let us not close off our hearts to others! Let others see joy, love, and goodness in our eyes! Indeed, in the midst of the challenges and trials of the pandemic, let us be heralds of Divine good will.

My wish is that, following the example of the Holy Family, our families be a place of mutual respect, love, and trust. I especially ask you, beloved parents, to foster a spirit of trust in your children, so that, when they encounter the challenges of this world, they know that they can always count both on you and on our Lord God, who entrusted them into your care. At various stages of your children’s growth, cultivate and build trust and mutual respect in joy, love, and patience. Be for them their first teachers of profound faith, an example of fervent prayer, encourage them to serve their neighbour at an early age. Give the greatest of attention to the time of transition from childhood to youth, take care that your children know how to distinguish between the false and the authentic, between divine truth and diabolical falsehood. May your offspring know that not only you believe in them and are able to see their future in realized talents and divine gifts, developed in their souls, but that our Lord God Himself believes in them and calls on them to do His good works in the world.

And so, let us celebrate Christmas together! Wherever we may be, through mutual trust let us create today our own Bethlehem! Those who celebrate in their family circle—with sincere joy. Those who are compelled to be far from your loved ones—with a sense of spiritual unity. Those who are able to come to church—with a profound experience of the feast’s solemnity and with love for Christ who gives Himself to us as spiritual food as a sign that He believes in us. Those who participate in divine services online—with a blessed longing for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let each of us share our Christmas joy with one another—any way we can! And may the traditional Ukrainian carol resound throughout.

Dear brothers and sisters! This festive day I express to you my trust and faith, that you yourselves intuitively sense how to properly greet the newborn Saviour, and know how to share the joy of this encounter with those at your side. With Christ’s Nativity, I warmly greet you all: from East to West, from North to South—in Ukraine and abroad, on all the continents of the world. In a special way, I unite myself to those who are sad or feel lonely, to all who labour far from home and precisely in this moment experience the absence of their loved ones and miss the warmth of the family home. I express my condolences to those families for whom this year it is painful to sit at Christmas Eve supper, when at the table there is an empty seat, not long ago occupied by a father or mother, husband or wife, brother or sister, son or daughter. With tearful eyes be joyful in the faith that today your loved ones are celebrating in heaven. I share my Christmas joy with our elderly—grandmothers and grandfathers, and also with the needy. I sincerely greet our soldiers on the front line—our pride. My thoughts fly to our prisoners of war and those held captive: in conveying my Christmas greeting I encourage you to not lose spirit, for our Lord God Himself believes in you. I greet our children and youth—our future, and wish that today your smile not leave your face, and that your joy be full.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish all of you the authentic joy of the children of God, a tasty kutia, a cheerful celebration of Christ’s Nativity, and a happy, peaceful, and blessed New Year!

Christ is born!  Glorify Him!

+ SVIATOSLAV

Given in Kyiv at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ,
on the day of the all-praiseworthy Apostle Andrew the First-called,
13th of December (30th of November) in the 2021st Year of our Lord.

РІЗДВЯНЕ ПОСЛАННЯ БЛАЖЕННІШОГО СВЯТОСЛАВА

Високопреосвященним архиєпископам і митрополитам,
боголюбивим єпископам, всечесному духовенству,
преподобному монашеству, возлюбленим братам і сестрам,
в Україні та на поселеннях у світі сущим

 Слава на висотах Богу й на землі мир
людям Його вподобання! (Лк. 2, 14).

Христос народився! Славімо Його!

Дорогі в Христі!

Сьогодні ділимося з вами великою радістю, яку вперше прийняли і нею поділилися невідомі вифлеємські пастушки, котрі перебували на відкритому полі та вночі чували біля свого стада. За розповіддю євангелиста Луки, коли ангел Господній з’явився, то їх спершу огорнув великий страх. Та ангел до них промовив: «Не бійтесь, бо я звіщаю вам велику радість, що буде радістю всього народу: Сьогодні народився вам у місті Давидовім Спаситель, він же Христос Господь» (Лк. 2, 10-11). Відтак, почувши похвальний спів ангельських хорів «Слава на висотах Богу», пастушки один одному сказали: «Ходім лишень до Вифлеєму та подивімся на ту подію, що Господь об'явив нам» (Лк. 2, 15). І пішли, знайшли Марію і Йосифа з Дитятком та, поклонившись їм, пішли і розповіли іншим про Ісуса.

Різдвяна благовість – це свято довіри, – довіри не тільки між людьми, а передусім Бога до людини! Ми часто говоримо про нашу віру в Бога, а мало коли звертаємо увагу на Боже вподобання стосовно нас, Його віру та довіру до нас. Господь довірив першу добру новину про народження Божого Дитяти звичайним пастухам, а згодом поділився своєю євангельською благовістю із жінками-мироносицями, рибалками, митниками – простими і мало кому відомими людьми.

У Різдві Христовому Небесний Отець довіряє людям свого єдинородного Сина і Бог стає людиною! Ангельський спів про «мир на землі людям Його вподобання» вказує на те, що Бог бачить людину гідною Його довіри і вподобання, прихильності і благовоління (саме так дослівно перекладається грецьке поняття «євдокія»). Він бачить нас добрими і вірить у нас. Він бачить нас не тільки такими, яким ми є сьогодні, серед усіх наших немочей і гріховності, нашої біди і розгубленості. Син Божий бачить у нас Свій Образ, а воплочуючись, приймає нашу людську природу і в маленькому дитятку вчить нас бачити Його самого, Спасителя світу. Споглядаючи нас як людей свого благовоління, Він бачить нас такими, якими ми можемо стати за допомогою сили Його благодаті, подібно як люблячі батьки бачать у своїй дитині майбутнього талановитого письменника чи художника, добру матір чи ніжного і відповідального батька, провідника народу чи його могутнього захисника.

Постать Богородиці в цьому різдвяному таїнстві уособлює те довір’я, яке людина повинна плекати до свого Творця і Спасителя у відповідь на Божу довіру до нас. Мати Божа, яка в холодній стаєнці тримає на руках маленького Ісуса, вчить нас, що ми можемо і повинні довіряти Богові та ближньому, бо сам Господь першим полюбив нас і довірився нам.  Приймаючи слово архангела, Вона дає Богові простір у власному тілі, дає Йому свою людяність – людську природу. Відтак св. Йосиф, опікун Ісуса та Його Матері, дізнавшись, що Марія вагітна, спершу думає потайки Її відпустити. Та, коли ангел Господній з’явився йому вві сні і сказав: «Йосифе, сину Давида, не бійсь узяти Марію, твою жінку, бо те, що в Ній зачалось, походить від Святого Духа» (Мт. 1, 20), чоловік повірив, довірився Богові і зробив усе за велінням ангела, оправдавши Господню довіру до нього.

Ми живемо у світі, де довір’я не тільки зранене, а й перебуває під постійною атакою. Велика криза довіри відчутна в різних сферах суспільного і навіть церковного життя. За посередництвом нових комунікаційних технологій маніпуляція правдою, яка існувала в людській історії завжди, сьогодні несеться з блискавичною швидкістю по всій земній кулі. Ми вже не знаємо, у що вірити і кому довіряти. У нашій свідомості утверджується переконання, що нема на світі ні правди, ні справедливості, що на кожному кроці тільки обман, брехня і крутійство.

Ця драматична ситуація зображена на іконі Різдва Христового. Злий дух у вигляді старшого чоловіка у волосяниці спокушає Йосифа, намагаючись викликати в нього сумнів щодо Дитяти та Його Матері. Нема чого цьому дивуватись, адже диявол, як батько брехні (пор. Ів. 8, 44), на кожному кроці старається посіяти підозри і сумнів про Боже до нас благовоління та сприяє конфліктам між людьми на всіх рівнях, у приватному, родинному та громадському житті.

Сучасна пандемія ще більше посилила кризу довіри. Оскільки вірус ховається в людині, то інша особа є для мене потенційним джерелом захворювання і навіть смерті. Це впроваджує в людські стосунки елементи підозри, страху і втечі.

Недовірою позначене рівно ж наше ставлення до суспільних і державних інституцій. Різні конспіративні чутки щодо небезпеки вакцин проти коронавірусу накладаються на загальнопоширену в нашому суспільстві недовірливість до влади і викликають у душах наших співвітчизників ще більше замішання і тривогу за майбутнє. Люди не вірять владі та іншим інституціям, які покликані дбати про загальне благо і громадське здоров’я та нести за це відповідальність. Можливо, з огляду на історію ХХ століття, пострадянські країни мають більшу, ніж це може бути в інших частинах світу, схильність не довіряти державним інституціям, тому легко стають жертвами різного роду маніпуляцій і пропаганди. Зрештою, у політично поляризованих країнах західного світу сíяння страху і недовіри теж стає інструментом політичної боротьби. Проте слід пам’ятати, що, керуючись принципом «не вірю нікому», ми завжди граємо комусь на руку, хтось використовує наше розчарування для досягнення власних цілей. Недовіра руйнує людські стосунки в усіх сферах. Недовіра руйнує родину, громаду, народ і державу!

У відповідь на ці наші сучасні спокуси недовіри сам Господь приходить, щоб об’явити правду і обгорнути нас своєю довірою. У навечір’я Різдва Христового ми співаємо: «Засяяв Ти, Христе, з Діви, як духовне Сонце Правди, і зоря появила Тебе невидимого, що вмістився у вертепі. І мудреців привів Ти, щоб поклонилися Тобі; з ними й ми Тебе величаємо: Життєдавче, слава Тобі!» (Тропар Вечірні). Святкувати Різдво Христове – це довіряти Божому Дитяті, яке долає смерть і, приймаючи людське життя, несе в дарі своє Боже Життя. Різдво – це не якась побожна казка, а унікальна в історії подія, що свідчить про Господнє довір’я до людини. Бог вірить у своє створіння. Він вірить у нас більше, ніж ми віримо самі в себе.

Через віру в Бога, у Його народження між нами, відродімо довір’я до людини, яка Його шукає! Будьмо людьми Божого вподобання і вчімося вкладати своє вподобання в іншу людину – побачити в ній добрі риси, дари і таланти, вміння і висоту духу. Хоч обставини поширення сучасного вірусу деколи вимагають, щоб ми прикривали захисними масками наші вуста та ніздрі, але, в ім’я Боже, не закриваймо своїх сердець перед іншими людьми! Даймо їм побачити радість, любов і доброту в наших очах! Саме серед викликів і випробувань пандемії будьмо носіями Божого благовоління!

Бажаю, щоб наші сім'ї були, на зразок Пресвятої родини, місцем взаємної пошани, любові та довіри. Особливо прошу вас, дорогі батьки, плекати духа довір’я у своїх дітей, щоб, коли їх спіткають виклики цього світу, вони знали, що можуть завжди покладатися як на вас, так і на Господа Бога, який доручив їх вашій опіці. На різних етапах зростання дітей бережіть і будуйте довіру та взаємоповагу в радості, любові й терпеливості. Будьте для них першими вчителями глибокої віри, прикладом щирої молитви, заохочуйте їх змалечку до служіння ближньому. Найпильнішу увагу звертайте на перехідний час від дитинства до молодості, подбайте, щоб діти вміли відрізнити фальшиве від автентичного, Божу правду від диявольської брехні. Хай ваші нащадки знають, що не тільки ви в них вірите і здатні бачити їхнє майбутнє в реалізованих талантах і розквітлих у їхній душі Божих дарах, а що сам Господь Бог у них вірить і кличе їх до творення Його добрих діл у світі.

Отож святкуймо Різдво разом! Хоч би де ми були, творімо взаємною довірою наш сучасний Вифлеєм! Хто святкує в сімейному колі — то зі щирою радістю; хто змушений бути далеко від рідних — то з відчуттям духовної єдності; хто може прийти до храму — то з переживанням святої урочистості празника та в любові до Христа, який дає себе нам як духовну поживу на знак, що Він вірить у нас; хто бере участь у святкових богослужіннях онлайн —  то в благословенній тузі за братами і сестрами в Христі. Ділімося одне з одним різдвяною радістю — хто як може! Хай скрізь лунає традиційна українська коляда!

Дорогі брати і сестри! Цього святкового дня висловлюю вам своє довір’я і вірю, що ви самі відчуваєте, як гідно зустрічати новонародженого Спаса, і вмієте ділитися радістю цієї зустрічі з кожним, хто є поруч із вами. Із Різдвом Христовим сердечно вітаю вас усіх: від сходу до заходу, від півночі до півдня — в Україні і на поселеннях, на всіх континентах світу. Особливим чином єднаюся з тими, хто сумує чи почувається самотнім, з усіма, хто на заробітках далеко від дому і саме цієї миті відчуває брак рідних і тепла родинної оселі. Співчуваю тим родинам, яким цього року тяжко сідати до Святої вечері, бо при столі стоїть порожнє крісло, котре ще недавно було місцем тата чи мами, чоловіка чи дружини, брата чи сестри, сина чи доні. Крізь сльози радійте з вірою, що сьогодні ваші найдорожчі святкують у небі. Ділюся різдвяною радістю з нашими старшими — бабусями і дідусями, а також з усіма потребуючими. Щиро вітаю наших військових на фронті — нашу гордість. Лину думкою до полонених і ув’язнених: переказуючи різдвяні вітання, заохочую вас не занепадати духом, бо у вас вірить сам Господь Бог. Вітаю дітей і молодь — наше майбутнє, і бажаю вам, щоб сьогодні усмішка не сходила з ваших уст, щоб ваша радість була повна.

Від щирого серця бажаю всім вам справжньої радості дітей Божих, смачної куті, веселих свят Різдва Христового та щасливого, мирного і благословенного нового року!

Христос народився! Славімо Його!

+ СВЯТОСЛАВ

Дано в Києві, при Патріаршому соборі Воскресіння Христового,
у день Святого всехвального апостола Андрія Первозванного,
13 грудня (30 листопада) 2021 року Божого

PASTORAL LETTER FROM
THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF CANADA
ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD
2021-2022

To the Reverend Clergy, Monastics, Seminarians and Laity
of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada

Christ is Born! Let Us Glorify Him!

Dearly Beloved in Christ!

‘The earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.’ — Kondak of the Nativity

The Kondak of December 25 heralds a true paradox. It reminds us of the sharp contrasts we find in the human condition.  Regarding the Incarnation of Jesus, the Indescribable, Eternal and Inaccessible God, is humbly born in a cave. This is truly a low place on earth, perhaps barely fit for animals at times and yet it is where Jesus was born. Today, we find it hard to believe that any person could be born outside of a hospital or a home. Of course, there are survival accounts of people enduring unimaginable challenges, but who could allow such intentional inhospitable human indignity?

Well, we don’t have to look far to find human indignity today. Human tragedy is all around us. Physical, medical, emotional and spiritual injustice is the content of many news stories. And in the midst of these stories often there is a ray of light in the darkness, a person who shines and restores our hope in human dignity.  Globally, in Ukraine, or in our own homes, the Holy Spirit is waiting to break through to others with good news and each of us would do well to ask God that question, ‘Lord, how do you want to use me in sharing this news?’

The good news is that despite our hearts being similar in some ways to the inhospitable cave, Jesus wants to dwell there. Our reflection on this profound mystery takes quiet time for prayer, away from the numerous demands requesting our attention as well as celebration of the Sacraments, particularly Eucharist and Reconciliation. In the stillness of our hearts, God will speak, God will give each of us grace and we have an opportunity to say ‘yes’ like members of the Holy Family. Our hearts are mangers of humility, human dignity and love. Every thought and action that honours God or another human being is born there.  Jesus is born in the manger of our hearts. This is good news. Likewise prayer together as families and parishes uplifts and confirms that ‘God is with us!’

Therefore, let us intercede in prayer and perhaps take positive steps toward solutions to the many inhumane things we encounter in life. Let us learn from St. Joseph who, in his obedience to God through several dreams, became the person to ignite in Jesus a sense of obedience to the Father. Let us learn from Mary, the Mother of God, who trusted in God’s plan for salvation as she gave birth to Christ and played a significant role in forming the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let us allow the Christ in us to be a light to those in our families and parishes. This is so important in an atmosphere that finds many people and numerous opinions at odds about how to deal with the COVID epidemic.

May our celebration of this profound truth this Christmas, that God is born in us, be a time to encounter Jesus Christ in our spouse, in our family members and in our parish because we are an essential part of this profound truth. May we be aware of the presence of Jesus, Mary and Joseph that give us the gift of the Holy Family which is present in our personal and parish families. And may this awareness bear fruit in our lives throughout the new year, 2022, and beyond.

God is with us! Christ is Born!

Sincerely in Christ,

+Lawrence Huculak, OSBM   Metropolitan Archbishop of Winnipeg
+Michael Wiwchar, CSsR   Eparch Emeritus of Saskatoon
+Stephen Chmilar, Eparch Emeritus of Toronto and Eastern Canada
+David Motiuk, Eparchial Bishop of Edmonton, Administrator of the Eparchy of New Westminster
+Bryan Bayda, CSsR, Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon, Administrator of the Eparchy of Toronto & Eastern Canada

ПАСТИРСЬКЕ ПОСЛАННЯ
УКРАЇНСЬКИХ КАТОЛИЦЬКИХ ЄПИСКОПІВ КАНАДИ
З НАГОДИ ПРАЗНИКА РІЗДВА ГОСПОДНЬОГО
2021-2022

Всесвітлішим, Всечеснішим і Преподобним Отцям,
Преподобним Ченцям і Черницям, Семінаристам та Мирянам
Української Католицької Церкви в Канаді

Христос Рождається! Славімо Його!

Дорогі в Христі!

«Земля вертеп Неприступному приносить». — Кондак Різдва

Кондак Різдва Господнього звіщає справжній парадокс. Він нагадує нам про різкі контрасти, які ми знаходимо в стані людини. Невимовний, Вічний і Неприступний Бог смиренно рождається в печері. Воплочення Сина Божого відбувається в місці, ледь придатному для тварин. Сьогодні нам важко повірити, що будь-яка людина може народитися за межами лікарні чи домівки, та Творець всесвіту обіймає людство серед такого суворого приниження людини.

У цьому світі нам не потрібно далеко шукати, щоб знайти приниження людини. Трагедія людей є навколо нас. Фізична, емоційна та духовна несправедливість є змістом багатьох новин. І серед цих розповідей часто з’являється промінь світла в темряві -- людина, яка світить і повертає нам надію на людську гідність. По всьому світу, в Україні чи в наших власних домівках у Канаді, Дух Святий чекає, щоб проникнути до інших із доброю новиною. Кожному з нас було б добре так запитати Бога: «Господи, як хочеш використати мене, щоб поділитися цією новиною?»

Добра новина є такою, що, незважаючи на те, що наші серця в чомусь схожі на негостинну печеру, Ісус хоче жити там. Наша відкритість до цієї глибокої таємниці вимагає спокійного часу для молитви, далеко від відволікань, подалі від численних вимог, на які сучасне суспільство зосереджує нашу увагу. У тиші наших сердець Бог буде говорити. Бог дасть кожному з нас ласку сказати «так» разом з Пресвятою Родиною. Ісус рождається в яслах смиренного серця, наповненого любов’ю. Він рождається в кожній думці і дії, які шанують Небесного Отця та в серця, які гідно ставляться до тих, що створені за Його образом. Цією доброю новиною ми ділимося під час цього свята. І, молячись разом як родина-сім’я та беручи участь у Святих Таїнствах, особливо в Євхаристії, ми піднесені й підтверджені як улюблені діти Божі.

Тому просімо про заступництво в молитві і, по можливості, зробімо якісь позитивні кроки до вирішення багатьох нелюдських речей, з якими ми стикаємося в житті. Навчімося від святого Йосифа, як це Ісус зробив, коли сприяв розвитку почуття послуху Своєму Небесному Отцеві, на прикладі послуху Йосифа Богові. Навчімося від Богоматері Марії, як це Ісус зробив, коли сприяв розвитку почуття глибокої любови та співчуття через Його земний досвід материнської любови. Дозвольмо, щоб Христос у нас став світлом мудрости та співчуття до інших. Та оскільки наше суспільство сьогодні продовжує боротися з пандемією COVID-19, завжди пам’ятаймо про добробут інших.

Цього Різдва нехай наше святкування Різдва нашого Господа приведе нас до зустрічі з Ним у всіх наших стосунках – з членами нашої родини-сім’ї, у наших громадах, на наших робочих місцях, у наших домівках. Нехай наші серця будуть тією печерою, де Пресвята Родина знаходить свою домівку, де присутні Ісус, Марія та Йосиф. Нехай дар Еммануїла — З нами Бог — принесе у нас плід у любові, у радості та в мирі в цей Різдвяний час та протягом усього Нового Року.

З нами Бог! Христос Рождається!

Щиро віддані в Христі,

+ Лаврентій Гуцуляк, ЧСВВ, Архиєпископ і Митрополит Вінніпезький
+ Михаїл Вівчар, ЧНІ, Єпарх-емерит Саскатунський
+ Стефан Хміляр, Єпарх-емерит Торонтонський
+ Давид Мотюк, Єпарх Едмонтонський, Апостольський Адміністратор Нью-Вестмінстерської Єпархії
+ Браєн Байда, ЧНІ, Єпарх Саскатунський, Апостольський Адміністратор Торонтонської Єпархії

Letter of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Major Archibishop of Kyiv-Halych and head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, to Most Reverend David Motiuk, Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of New Westminster, 8 December 2021:

Coat of arms of Sviatoslav Shevchuk

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Your Excellency,

Over the last few weeks, we have all seen the news with images of the devastating effect on the lives and livelihood of so many people in British Columbia due to recent torrential rains, floods and landslides. Seeing the images of the floods in the Fraser Valley, I recalled my own travels in August 2012 from Vancouver to Kelowna through that very same area and over the Coquihalla highway. I was amazed at the stunning natural beauty of British Columbia with its farmiands and the majesty of the mountains. My thoughts are very much with those who are suffering today because of the magnitude of this past summer‘s forest fires and now with the destruction from the recent floods.

Please share my message to the clergy, religious and lay-faithful of the Eparchy of New Westminster, that with the ongoing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the task of rebuilding homes, businesses and infrastructures made more difficult by the cold winter weather, I am praying that Our Lord will send you and the people of British Columbia all His comfort and grace.

Placing you under the protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, I remain,

Seal of Sviatoslav Shevchuk

 

Sunday of the Holy Forefathers

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy  at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria.
10AM 12 December 2021.

Troparion, Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel * the glorious news of the resurrection * and cast off the ancestral condemnation, * they proudly told the apostles: * ‘Death has been plundered! * Christ our God is risen, * granting to the world great mercy.’

Troparion, Tone 2
By faith You justified Your ancestors * and through them in advance You betrothed the Church taken from the nations. * The saints exult in glory; * from their seed comes the blessed fruit, the one who bore You without seed. * By their prayers, O Christ our God, have mercy on us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 6
Armed by the Being that defies description, * you defied the man-made idol, O thrice blessed youth. * In the midst of the unbearable flames you stood and cried out to God: * ‘In Your mercy, O gracious One, hasten and come to our aid,’ * for You can do whatever You will.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Verse: Blessed are You, Lord God of our fathers, * and praised and glorified is Your Name forever.
Verse: For You are righteous in everything that You have done to us. (Daniel 3:26,27)

Epistle : Colossians 3:4–11
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Colossians.
Brothers and Sisters, when Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life. But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: Moses and Aaron are among His priests and Samuel among those who call upon His name.
Verse: They called on the Lord and He heard them. (Psalm 98:6)

Gospel : Luke 14:16-24
The Lord told this parable: ‘Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, “Come; for everything is ready now.” But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.” Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.” Another said, “I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.” So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, “Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” And the slave said, “Sir, what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.” Then the master said to the slave, “Go out into the roads and lanes, and compel people to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”’

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Rejoice in the Lord, O you just; * praise befits the righteous (Psalm 32:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Bishop David Motiuk at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria. 10AM 5 December 2021.

Troparion, Tone 2
When You went down to death, O Life Immortal, * You struck Hades dead with the blazing light of Your divinity. * When You raised the dead from the nether world, * all the powers of heaven cried out: * ‘O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory be to You!’

Troparion, Tone 4 (commemorating Saint Nicholas)
The truth of your deeds made you for your flock a rule of faith * and an image of meekness, * a teacher of continence. * And so you gained the heights through humility, * riches through poverty, * father and bishop Nicholas. * Intercede with Christ our God* for the salvation of our souls.

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

Kontakion, Tone 2
You rose from the tomb, O almighty Saviour; * and Hades, seeing this wonder, was stricken with fear; and the dead arose. * Creation saw and rejoices with You, and Adam exults. * And the world, my Saviour, sings Your praises for ever.

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 2
In Myra, O holy one, you proved yourself a priest. * You fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, O venerable father. * You laid down your soul for your people * and saved the innocent from death. * And so you were sanctified as a great initiate of God’s grace.

Prokeimenon, Tone 2
Verse: The Lord is my strength and my song of praise, and He has become my salvation.
Verse: The Lord has indeed chastised me, but He has not delivered me to death. (Psalm 117:14,18)
Prokeimenon, Tone 7
Verse: The just man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him.

Epistle : Hebrews 13:17–21
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews.
Brothers and Sisters, obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are confident that we have a clear conscience, wishing to act rightly in every respect. I especially ask for your prayers that I may be restored to you very soon. May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever (and ever). Amen. I ask you to bear with this message of encouragement, for I have written to you rather briefly.

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: The Lord will hear you in the day of tribulation; the name of the God of Jacob will shield you.
Verse: Lord, grant victory to the king and hear us in the day that we shall call upon You. (Psalm 19:2,10)
Verse: Your priests shall clothe themselves with justice, and Your venerable ones shall rejoice. (Psalm 131:9)

Gospel : Luke 6:17–23
As Jesus came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all. And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.’

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * The just man shall be in everlasting remembrance;* of evil hearsay he shall have no fear (Psalm 111:6) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria. 10AM 28 November 2021.

Troparion, Tone 2
When You went down to death, O Life Immortal, * You struck Hades dead with the blazing light of Your divinity. * When You raised the dead from the nether world, * all the powers of heaven cried out: * ‘O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory be to You!’

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

Kontakion, Tone 2
You rose from the tomb, O almighty Saviour; * and Hades, seeing this wonder, was stricken with fear; and the dead arose. * Creation saw and rejoices with You, and Adam exults. * And the world, my Saviour, sings Your praises for ever.

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 2
The tomb and death could not hold the Mother of God, * unceasing in her intercession and an unfailing hope of patronage, * for as the Mother of Life she was transferred to life * by Him Who had dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Prokeimenon, Tone 2
Verse: The Lord is my strength and my song of praise, and He has become my salvation.
Verse: The Lord has indeed chastised me, but He has not delivered me to death. (Psalm 117:14,18)

Epistle : Ephesians 6:10–17
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.
Brothers and Sisters, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Alleluia, Tone 2
Verse: The Lord will hear you in the day of tribulation; the name of the God of Jacob will shield you.
Verse: Lord, grant victory to the king and hear us in the day that we shall call upon You. (Psalm 19:2,10)

Gospel : Luke 13:10–17
At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are set free from your ailment.’ When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, ‘There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.’ But the Lord answered him and said, ‘You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria. 10AM 21 November 2021.

Troparion, Tone 1
Though the stone was sealed by the Judeans, * and soldiers guarded Your most pure body, * You arose, O Saviour, on the third day, * and gave life to the world. * And so the heavenly powers cried out to You, O Giver of Life: * Glory to Your resurrection, O Christ! * Glory to Your kingdom! * Glory to Your saving plan, * O only Lover of mankind.

Troparion, Tone 4
Today is the prelude of the good pleasure of God, * and the proclamation of salvation for the human race. * In the Temple of God * the Virgin is clearly revealed, * and beforehand announces Christ to all. * To her, then, let us cry aloud with a mighty voice: * Rejoice, fulfilment of the Creator’s plan.

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

Kontakion, Tone 1
You arose in glory from the tomb * and with Yourself You raise the world. * All humanity acclaims You as God. * and death has vanished. * Adam exults, O Master, * and Eve, redeemed from bondage now, cries out for joy: * ‘You are the One, O Christ, Who offer resurrection to all.’

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 4
The Saviour’s pure temple, * the precious bridal chamber and Virgin, * the sacred treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord; * and with her she brings the grace of the divine Spirit. * God’s angels sing in praise of her: * She is indeed the heavenly dwelling-place.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3
Verse: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.

First Epistle : Ephesians 5:9–19
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.
Brothers and Sisters, live as children of light—for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts.

Second Epistle : Hebrew 9:1–7
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews.
Brothers and Sisters, the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence; this is called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a tent called the Holy of Holies. In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot speak now in detail. Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the first tent to carry out their ritual duties; but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year, and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people.

Alleluia, Tone 7
Verse: God gives me vindication, and has subdued people under me.
Verse: Making great the salvation of the king, and showing mercy to His anointed, to David, and to His posterity forever. (Psalm 17:48,51)
Verse: Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear. (Psalm 44:11)

First Gospel : Luke 12:16–21
The Lord told this parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?“ Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.’

Second Gospel : Luke 10:38–42, 11:27–28
At that time, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’ While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’

Instead of “It is truly right...” we sing:
Seeing the entrance of the pure one, angels marvel in wonder how the Virgin could enter the holy of holies.
Irmos: Let no hand of the profane touch God’s living ark, * but instead let the lips of those who are believers * sing out ceaselessly in the words of the angel, * crying out with great joy to the Mother of God: * O pure Virgin, * you are truly higher than all. 

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) *
I will take the cup of salvation;* and I will call upon the name of the Lord. (Psalm 115:13) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]

Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Divine Liturgy of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, celebrated by Father Yuriy at Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Parish, Victoria. 10AM 14 November 2021.

Troparion, Tone 8
You came down from on high, O Merciful One, * and accepted three days of burial * to free us from our sufferings. * O Lord, our life and our resurrection, * glory be to You.

Troparion, Tone 3
O Philip, proclaimer of God’s word, * the world is adorned and Ethiopia dances for joy * for it is arrayed in beauty as with a crown. * Enlightened by you it feasts your memory. * For you taught all to believe in Christ, * finishing the course of the Gospel as is right. * And so, Ethiopia boldly lifts up its hands to God. * Pray to Him to grant great mercy to us.

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

Kontakion, Tone 8
When You rose from the tomb, * You also raised the dead and resurrected Adam. * Eve exults in Your resurrection, * and the ends of the world celebrate Your rising from the dead, * O most merciful One.

Now and forever and ever, Amen.

Theotokion, Tone 8
The God-inspired Philip, * Your friend, disciple and imitator of the Passion, * proclaimed You as God to the whole world, * O Christ, all merciful. * By his intercessions * and those of the Mother of God * guard Your Church and every city * from lawless enemies.

Prokeimenon, Tone 8
Pray and give thanks to the Lord our God.
Verse: In Judea God is known; His name is great in Israel. (Psalm 75:12,2)
Verse: Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their word unto the ends of the world. 

Epistle : Ephesians 4:1–6
A reading from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.
Brothers and Sisters, I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

Alleluia, Tone 7
Verse: Come, let us rejoice in the Lord; let us acclaim God our Saviour.
Verse: Let us come before His countenance with praise and acclaim Him with psalms. (Psalm 94:1,2)
Verse: The heavens shall confess our wonders, O Lord, and Your truth in the church of the saints. (Psalm 88:6)

Gospel : Luke 10:25–37
At that time, a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’

Сommunion Hymn
Praise the Lord from the heavens; * praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1) *
Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, * and their word unto the ends of the world. (Psalm 18:5) * Alleluia, alleluia, * alleluia.

[A private prayer of spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,
and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.
Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.]