The XV All-Ukrainian Military Pilgrimage took place in Zarvanytsia

September 18, 2023, 18:51 44

On September 16–17, the XV All-Ukrainian Military Pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia was held, organized by the Department of Military Chaplaincy of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC for military servicemen, members of their families, and families of fallen heroes. The key theme of this year’s pilgrimage is based on the words of the Apostle Paul: “We are called to be free” (Galatians 5:13).

The XV All-Ukrainian Military Pilgrimage took place in Zarvanytsia

On Saturday, September 16, the event program began with a gratitude prayer service on the square near the Zarvanytsia parish church, followed by a solemn procession to the figure of the Virgin Mary. Bishop Mykhailo Koltun, head of the Department of Military Chaplaincy of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC, blessed two chaplains with a candle, parents of fallen soldiers with viburnum bouquets, soldiers with sunflowers and chaplains with wheat bouquets, which are symbols of memory, gratitude, and struggle.

After the grand opening of the pilgrimage, a Divine Liturgy and memorial service for the repose of all the fallen defenders of Ukraine was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Zarvanytsia, led by Bishop Mykhailo in concelebration with military chaplains. A memorial procession with candles followed this. After the candle-laying ceremony, all those present joined in a communal prayer for the Unknown Warrior.

As part of the pilgrimage, a religious procession was traditionally held with the participation of military chaplains, servicemen, and family members of the fallen defenders of Ukraine, who carried the cross to each station.

On Sunday, September 18, the pilgrims took part in the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy presided over by Bishop Mykhailo Koltun in concelebration with Bishop Volodymyr Firman, Auxiliary Bishop of the Ternopil-Zboriv Archeparchy, and military chaplains.

“We are called to be free; we are called to live in the glory of God. Sin enslaved man, but Christ set us free. Today, Ukrainian soldiers defend us, fulfilling our calling to freedom. They are inspired by love — love for their homeland. We are all called to this love, which will give us liberation, freedom, and salvation. Our love derives its strength and becomes active only through God’s love!” Bishop Mykhailo emphasized this during his sermon at the Sunday Liturgy.

At the end of the pilgrimage, the participants congratulated Bishop Mykhailo on the 30th anniversary of his episcopal ordination, which he celebrates this year.

Press Center of the Department of Military Chaplaincy of the UGCC

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