“A nation that knows how to pray together is invincible!” — Head of the UGCC at a prayer breakfast

December 21, 2023, 18:25 48

On December 21, the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, attended a Christmas prayer breakfast with the participation of the heads of Ukrainian churches, representatives of the Parliament, the Government of Ukraine, and the diplomatic corps. The event was joined online by U. S. congressmen and senators, including Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives Mike Johnson.

“A nation that knows how to pray together is invincible!” — Head of the UGCC at a prayer breakfast

The Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, addressed the audience at this spiritual event and the entire Ukrainian people: “This Christmas breakfast, which we spent in prayer, is a herald of the Christmas dinner, as the Star of Bethlehem announced the birth of the Savior. Our folk customs say that the father of the family, who blesses the Holy Supper and makes the sign of the Holy Cross over the kutia, does three things: gives gratitude, remembers, and prays.”

The Head of the UGCC then expressed gratitude for the past year, appreciating all the blessings it brought, and sought a blessing for the upcoming year: “I thank the Lord God that we’ve reached Christmas, that we have the privilege to experience it, that we are alive and together. We reflect on all the goodness we have received this year. We also think of those who don’t have the opportunity to gather around a festive table and share a meal with their families. Additionally, we remember those who have joined the eternal banquet of the Heavenly Kingdom. May we be blessed during these holidays and in the coming year.”

He turned to the audience and thanked all the participants of the prayer breakfast. First of all, he thanked them for their joint prayer. “We are impressed that our deputies, ministers, and government can pray… They can pray with their people, our army, our volunteers. To hear the words of the Holy Scriptures from your mouths was incredible. A nation that knows how to pray together is invincible!”

In expressing gratitude, the archbishop acknowledged the importance of positive initiatives from politicians: “We appreciate the swift transition of the Verkhovna Rada to the new calendar, even ahead of churches and religious organizations. Your proactive move to declare December 25 a day off is particularly commendable. We are thankful for the wise decision to align the celebration of important national holidays with the Gregorian calendar this year—October 1 as the Day of Defenders of Ukraine, July 15 as Statehood Day, and Christmas, which we will celebrate together this year. I also extend my gratitude to our Parliament for recognizing the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor this year and for embodying the global Ukrainian community’s slogan: ‘We remember; the world recognizes.’ Thank you very much for this.”

The UGCC Patriarch also suggested that we ask for a blessing for our homeland, for our sick people. “We ask for a blessing for the Ukrainian authorities at all levels, for the Ukrainian army. And we wish all of you to be able to celebrate Christmas the way our insurgents in hiding, the Sich Riflemen, and the Ukrainian army once did. They knew how to triumph with heavenly joy, even experiencing earthly pain and suffering. And when it was completely dark, they shone with the light of their hearts. So let us live this Christmas together!” the Primate called.

At the end of his speech, the Head of the UGCC extended his blessing to everyone, wishing them a merry Christmas, delicious kutia, joyful and triumphant carols, and a blessed, victorious 2024.

The UGCC Department for Information

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