Heads of Christian Churches greet Ukrainians on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ
In his message, Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko) of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine (UOC-KP) wishes the Ukrainian people peace and unity and asks the Lord to “grant us victory over the visible and invisible enemies.”
"On this joyous holiday, I wish you, dear brothers and sisters, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I extend my greetings to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian government, our Armed Forces, the faithful and courageous defenders of our Motherland, who do not spare even their own lives. I greet all our Ukrainian compatriots dispersed all over the world: in America and Canada, in Europe and in Australia, who love and help her homeland.
On these joyous holidays, let us thank our Lord Jesus Christ for His unlimited love for us, the sinners, and ask Him to grant us victory over the visible and invisible enemies, peace, the unity of the Ukrainian people and prosperity. We will be guided in our lives by truth and love, which can lead us to eternal blissful life. Let the bright light of the Bethlehem star illuminate our souls and hearts with the light of peace, love, and truth,” the Primate of the Kyivan Patriarchate says.
In his Christmas message, Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) of the UGCC calls to turn his attention to the deprived people:
“My beloved in Christ! To celebrate Christmas appropriately, let us share with the poor people of every kind of poverty all the riches that we, believers, hold first of all spiritual gifts, and therefore material goods. Let the great-grandfathers’ Carol, which praises the King in a poor den, will be God's will for us to approach the poor and enrich them with the treasures of our holy faith. We bow unto Christ, present in our destitute brothers and sisters, letting them feel the closeness of God, which envelops each with His infinite mercy and His unconditional love. Let us come and sing carols to our soldiers at their places of stay, either in their homes where they returned after fulfilling the sacred duty of protecting the Motherland or in military units or at the frontline. Let us go to the victims of the fighting, take the pain of the poor and needy into our hearts – thus we will receive Christ with the Holy Family, enrich our home, family, and society with inexhaustible divine treasures, “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal” (Matt. 6, 19-20). To this we are called by the Holy Church, when it sings: “Get ready now in spirit and hurry to meet with pure eyes and good deeds the One who chose to come to His people through His wonderful birth. He is born in Bethlehem, so that we, deprived of paradise, may enter it again by His mercy” (Sticheron from Vespers the Sunday before Christmas).
The head of the UOC (MP), Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky) wished the clergy and laymen health,
salvation and happiness:
“Let each of us bring to the Blessed Savior a humble gratitude for His love for us, the fallen, for the self-humiliation that the Savior has endured to raise us, to return us the lost eternal life and to give us the joy that makes our life happy and enjoyable even here, on earth.
Once again, I congratulate all of you, dear brothers and sisters, on the occasion of the Nativity of Christ. I wish you all health, salvation and happiness. May the grace of joy brought to the earth by the Son of God, rest in our humble hearts, as He himself, our Savior and Lord, once rested in the hands of His Mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
May the joy, God's peace and goodwill fill our families, our Ukrainian state, and the whole of God's world. Amen.”
Today, when the angels rejoice in the heavens, and the nightly darkness of the earth is filled with the light of the Bethlehem star, let us lift our hearts and prayers to the Bethlehem Cave to receive the blessing from the newborn Christ the Savior,” goes the Christmas address of the Permanent Conference of the Ukrainian Orthodox Bishops outside Ukraine. Let’s open our hearts to the Newborn, so that they become the place in which He will be born and will stay. Let the little Jesus bless you, fill with grace, quietude, hope and spiritual joy, strengthen you spiritually and physically, and grant your gracious help to bear your earthly cross. Let each of us understand that from today, we are not alone, we are not abandoned, we are not orphans. God is with us!
Once again, we congratulate you on the great feast of the Nativity of Christ and pray that the New 2018 to be peaceful and blessed in the Lord.”
Metropolitan of Lviv Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokszycki of the RCC wished everyone at the time of Christmas to open the door of their hearts to Christ.
“Christmas is the time of good words, family meetings, gifts, festive mood ... Christ is in the middle of us! He strives to enter and settle in every human being, in every human heart. In the light of this truth about God's presence I wish to all of you: open the door of your hearts to Christ! With Him will come peace, clarity, joy, hope, mutual forgiveness, salvation and life,” says the Head of the Conference of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Ukraine.
In his Christmas message, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople recalled that the 70th anniversary of the universal proclamation of human rights will be celebrated in 2018, however, this Declaration, which highlights general high ideals, is now ignored and interpreted in different ways.
“The Church cannot ignore these threats for the human person,” the Patriarch claims. “There is nothing more sacred than a man whose nature God has taken. We are standing for human dignity to protect human freedom and justice, knowing well that “the true peace comes from God”, that the transcendental mystery of the Word of God's embodiment and the deification of man through grace reveals the truth about freedom and the divine destiny of man ...
Brothers and children in the Lord!
Let’s celebrate Christmas together with the grace of the Word of God that has settled in us, with the pleasure and fullness of joy. At the Phanar, we pray that our Lord and Savior, who got incarnated and descended to the human race, gave each physical and spiritual health in this new year, together with peace and love to each other. May He protect His Holy Church and bless the deeds of her ministry for the glory of His Holy and glorified Name.”
“The Lord has descended on earth, so that man will rise to heaven," the head of the UAOC, Metropolitan Macariy (Maletych) emphasized in his message. Let me greet you on the occasion of the Nativity of Christ and the New Year 2018, dear hierarchs, monks, faithful fathers and their families and all the faithful of the UAOC, I wish all of you in this Christmastide to have spiritual joy and church celebrations, good health and all welfare. May the peace of God, so much needed by our Ukraine and all those who live on our Ukrainian land, as well as God's blessing, rest with you, your families, with every person who does good, and with our glorious Ukraine.