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PERMANENT CONFERENCE OF UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX BISHOPS BEYOND THE BORDERS OF UKRAINE

To the Venerable Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church beyond the Borders of Ukraine and to our Brothers and Sisters of the Faith in Ukraine:
Peace be with you from the Christ-Child – born of God’s Love for us!

CHRIST IS BORN!  LET US GLORIFY HIM!

“…the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.” (Matthew 2:9)

Once again the light of the Star guides us to Bethlehem!  Once again our hearts are lifted up by the angelic choir singing:  “Glory to God in the highest.  Peace to men of good will.”

Again the shepherds have left their fields, the wise men their far-off countries and we, together with them, we fall upon our knees in wonder seeing God descending from Heaven to embrace in His arms a Babe that is rests with His Mother in a cave.  He has descended the staircase of Heaven to save humanity and to take us up that same staircase for eternity to live with our Creator – our Lord who has revealed Himself unto us.  St. Athanasius puts it this way:  “The Word became flesh in order to make man receptive of divinity.  He became poor in order that we, through His poverty, might become rich."

The world in which we now live would have us turn our gaze away from our Lord’s Nativity – when the fullness of the Divine approached the fullness of humanity – and place our sight upon only that, which is temporal, the material, the physical.  Indeed, there are many problems that exist today, for darkness lingers on.  But the light of the Bethlehem Star announces once and for all that there is hope, there is salvation, there is the saving grace offered to all who accept the Lord and Master, Who has entered the world to banish all darkness and evil and promises us the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Yes, evil continues around us – there are crimes, there are those who would create disunity, there are wars, there are human beings deprived of their humanity and left half-beaten along the roadsides of life.  We who have been chosen, who have been selected to the royal priesthood as St. Peter writes, are to be the good Samaritans and by the grace of God, to heal the wounds created by evil  —  pride, greed, hatred.  We are called to reflect the light of the Good News to the world that has been entrusted to us by God Almighty.  No period in history has had more need for the Gospel proclamation than the present era, for man has never so willfully rebelled against every precept of his Creator as now!  Who looks up to see God descending from Heaven?  Who bends an ear to hear the angels sing and the cry of a babe?

The Bethlehem Star guided our ancestors more than a thousand years ago when Ukraine, like other nations, embraced the new-born Christ Child.  From the Feast of the Nativity, our ancestors gathered strength of spirit to know victory over evil, persecutions and difficulties of this earthly life!  Evidence of this are the magnificent carols that echoed from village to village – carols that embraced the thousands of churches that were erected by our God-loving ancestors.

We who have been graced by God as your hierarchs pray that the new-born Christ child may find His way into all of our souls…may the good that lies in every man’s heart day by day be magnified…may we, like the wise men, offer unto Christ our gold of Faith, our myrrh of Hope, our frankincense of Love which flow from the Divine…may the ever blessed Spirit of our Lord’s Nativity, its joy, its beauty, its love, its hope and, above all, its abiding faith dwell among us all so that with heartfelt gratitude to Almighty God we shall, indeed, proclaim:

Christ is born!   God is with us!   Glorify Him!

+Constantine
Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the Diaspora
+John
Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
+Antony
Archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
+Ioan
Archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora
+Yurij
Archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
+Jeremiah
Archbishop of the South American Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
+Ilarion
Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
+Andriy
Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
+Daniel
Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

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(Ukrainian Language Archpastoral Letter in PDF format)


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Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
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Metropolia Center
135 Davidson Avenue; Somerset, NJ 08873

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