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Starting September 1, UGCC will follow the Gregorian style in celebrating fixed feasts: The Head of the UGCC in his Pastoral Message

August 14, 2023, 12:58 257

By renewing the Liturgical Calendar, the Church is implementing something long overdue. This is stated in the Pastoral Epistles of His Beatitude Sviatoslav to the faithful of the UGCC on the renewal of the church calendar.

Starting September 1, UGCC will follow the Gregorian style in celebrating fixed feasts: The Head of the UGCC in his Pastoral Message

“From now on,” the message says, “the UGCC in Ukraine, starting September 1, 2023, in response to the time signs, will follow the Gregorian style in celebrating the fixed holidays, which we calculate according to the astronomical solar calendar. The days of the movable feasts, which are counted according to the lunar calendar, will be kept following the current Paschal calendar — we anticipate that all Christian Churches will soon establish a common, modernized way of setting the date of Easter.”

“We believe that the calendar reform will facilitate the unity of the faithful of our Church in Ukraine and abroad because most of our foreign dioceses and exarchates have already adopted the new style. And thanks to the temporary preservation of the old Paschal calendar, at least for our needs in Ukraine, we will be able to continue to experience the Holy Easter and the liturgical rhythms related to it simultaneously with our Orthodox brothers,” the message says.

As the Primate states in his message, calendar discussions intensified in Ukraine in the XVI-XVII centuries. In the early twentieth century, the transition process to the Gregorian calendar began in a few communities of our Church abroad, but in Ukraine, it was halted for various reasons. And in recent years, the debate has resumed. It has become apparent that the Julian calendar has lost its role as an indicator of our identity and a preventative measure of assimilation. Instead, it constitutes an obstacle and a problem in this area.

“To preserve the identity of Kyivan Christianity in the modern world, its theological and liturgical, spiritual and canonical traditions, we need their true and comprehensive renewal and revitalization, not imitation and stagnation,” emphasizes His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

For this purpose, the document states that the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in Ukraine decided in February 2023 to introduce a calendar reform on September 1, 2023. “Here, is the right historic moment for our liturgical conversion, for the modernization of our preaching and the regeneration of life through faith in the Gospel of Christ through the liturgical dimension of our church life,” the document says.

The Primate reminds, that in chronology, the Church did not create its own systems and methods but referred to the achievements of science.

In addition, it was emphasized that the renewal of the church calendar should not be just a mechanical shift of dates by 13 days. The Church strives to ensure that we change along with the calendar.

“Christ’s never-ending call to repentance — to rethink one’s life — is more pressing than ever. Let’s not be afraid to improve ourselves, especially when it comes to growing in faith! Only in this way can we become true Christians whose vocation is to realize our faith in the present better and better,” the Head of the Church said.

The UGCC Department for Information

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