Permanent Conference of Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops
Beyond the Borders of Ukraine
At the Nativity of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ – 2012
To the Beloved Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches beyond the borders of Ukraine and our Ukrainian Orthodox Brothers and Sisters in Ukraine:
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
We greet you, our beloved spiritual children, at the bright and joyful Holy Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Christ – the Savior of the world is today manifested as the Christ-Child to all our earthly families. May the peace and harmony of these magical Nativity Holy Days fill each of our lives! Let us seek joy, solace and assistance in the Bethlehem cave where the “angels sing” and “glorify the newborn Christ-Child”.
From the depth of our hearts and souls we wish you all the warmth, peace and joy offered by the Christ-Child for – as we sing in our ancient Ukrainian Christmas Carols: “God is with us”, a “A new Joy is dawning, it has come with no warning”, for “In Bethlehem this day there is news – the Most Pure Virgin has given birth to a Son”! In all the world where our Ukrainian Orthodox parishes exist – the United States of America, Canada, Europe, South America, Central America, Australia/New Zealand and in Ukraine itself – “Heaven and earth this day triumph, angels and mortals joyfully celebrate” for CHRIST IS BORN!
May the Heavenly Bethlehem Star, which led the Three Kings to the Bethlehem cave, always lead you, dear brothers and sisters, along the path to God’s Truth, to honorable life and work:
God eternal is born this day!
He came to us from heaven,
To save all mankind:
Bringing us comfort.
From the early decades of Christianity, this most ancient Ukrainian Carol echoes throughout our native Ukraine. It informs us that the long-awaited Savior of the world – Jesus Christ, just as s the Old Testament prophets heralded, “to save all mankind”. The prophet Daniel even predicted the exact time of the birth of the Messiah – Savior. From the nativity of Jesus Christ, the calendar of history began anew.
The first to worship Christ in Bethlehem were the humble shepherds and then came the Three Kings who brought gifts to the Christ-Child: gold – symbolizing love and devotion, incense, symbolizing prayer and myrrh, symbolizing patience. Let us bring to Almighty, God during these magical Nativity days, the gold of devotion to God’s Law, a censer filled with our piety and holiness of life and the myrrh of courageous patience and struggle for the triumph of God and our national treasures and values.
Truly, “a new joy has dawned” and “In Bethlehem this day there is news – the Most Pure Virgin has given birth to a Son”, “Heaven and earth this day triumph” for God has so loved mankind, that He became one of us. God warned the Three Kings of Herod’s evil and they returned to their nations by another way. Today God reminds us – His people – about the contemporary evil Herods – the creators of evil and sin – provides us with another path – the eternal path to our own true nation – to eternity.
Let us make a firm resolution this day, as did the Three Kings, to never set foot on the road, which leads to an atheistic, spiritless life, void of God’s Truth. May the light of the Bethlehem star always guide our life’s journey.
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
+ YURIJ, Metropolitan – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
+ ANTONY, Metropolitan – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
Locum Tenens Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora
+ IOAN, Archbishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora
+ JEREMIAH, Archbishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of Brazil and South America
+ ILARION, Bishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
+ ANDRIJ, Bishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
+ DANIEL, Bishop – Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA