Heads of Ukrainian Churches greet believers on Christmas

05 January, 13:04
Culture
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The Christmas gospel is a celebration of trust – trust not only between people, but above all God to man!

This is stated by Patriarch of the UGCC Sviatoslav in his Nativity greetings:

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Dear brothers and sisters, On this festive day, let me express my trust in you and believe that you yourself feel how worthy it is to meet the newborn Savior, and you know how to share the joy of this meeting with everyone who is close to you. I cordially congratulate you all on Christmas: from East to West, from North to South — in Ukraine and in settlements, on all continents of the world. In a special way, I am joining those who are sad or feel lonely, with all those who work far from home and at this very moment feel the lack of relatives and the warmth of the family home. I sympathize with those families who find it difficult to sit down for the Holy Supper this year because there is an empty chair at the table, which until recently was the place of a father or mother, husband or wife, brother or sister, son or daughter. Through your tears, rejoice with the faith that today your dearest ones are celebrating in heaven. I share my Christmas joy with our elders — grandparents, as well as with everyone in need. I sincerely congratulate our military at the front — you are our pride. I send my thoughts to the prisoners and prisoners: when reciting Christmas greetings, I encourage you not to lose heart, because the Lord God himself believes in you. I greet children and young people — our future, and I wish you that today the smile does not leave your lips, that your joy is full.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all the true joy of God's children, delicious kutia, Merry Christmas holidays and a happy, peaceful and blessed New Year! Christ is born! Glorify Him!".

In his greetings, Primate of the OCU Epifaniy urges to lift prayers for those who protect us - soldiers at the frontline and doctors:

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"As the Primate of the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I sincerely congratulate all of you on Christmas and the New Year. Although it is now the eighth year that Ukraine has been forced to live defensively against aggression; although for two years now our country and all of humanity have been concerned about the trials associated with the pandemic, nothing can take away from us the Great, extraordinary joy that the news of the birth of the son of God brings to the world.

As we celebrate, we cannot forget about those who give us a peaceful sky above our heads and the opportunity to gather at the Christmas table – the soldiers who defend Ukraine from the visible enemy, from the invasion of strangers, and the doctors and medical workers who fight for our physical health. Let us remember them in our prayers and ask for God's protection and guardianship for them.

Let us also recall our brothers and sisters who are forced to celebrate holidays in captivity in the occupied Ukrainian lands. Let us remember the prisoners and unjust prisoners, and ask the Lord for their protection and speedy release. We believe that with God's help and joint efforts, we will achieve the liberation of Donbas and Crimea, achieve victory in the struggle for truth and just peace.

I extend my greetings to the President, the government, the Parliament of Ukraine, the leaders of local communities and all those who are called to work for the benefit of the Ukrainian people and serve them on Christmas and New Year. May the Lord inspire you with wisdom and help you in good deeds!

On these holidays, let us express our gratitude to the Lord for all his benefits shown to us, to the Church and to Ukraine. May God help us continue to establish a single local autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, overcoming divisions and misunderstandings between co-religionists, and also give strength and wisdom to the Ukrainian people to maintain unity and social peace, resist the aggressor and achieve victory.

Whatever the external circumstances and wherever you have to celebrate this year's holiday, May the joy of the Nativity of Christ fill your hearts, driving away worries and sorrows, and May the light of the star of Bethlehem be directed to the son of God, reminding us that the Messiah, The Savior, has come into the world, brought us the light of truth and hope, and this "light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it." (John 1: 5)."

In his Christmas greetings, Primate of the UOC MP Onufriy wishes the faithful prayer, humility and courage, because the son of God has come into the world, who overcame sin with his fears:

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"We live in apocalyptic times, a special sign of which is fear and confusion; and we need prayers, humility and repentance also because with their help we protect ourselves from fear and confusion and build our way to heaven, to an eternal blissful life.

The first words of the Angel to the Shepherds of Bethlehem were: do not be afraid. And today, the Christmas Angel says to each of us: do not be afraid, because the son of God was born into the world, who overcame sin with its fears, confusion and illnesses.

Today, when dangerous viruses are spreading in the world, many people are rushing to take a vaccine to extend their earthly life. But we, who believe in Christ as the son of God, as the Savior of the world, know that there is another, more terrible and dangerous virus in the world — these are our sins. Sins take away our eternal life. How necessary it is for us, who have the high name of a Christian, to hurry to accept the spiritual vaccine — repentance, in order to overcome the virus of sin and save ourselves for eternal life!

Once again, I congratulate you, dear brothers and sisters, on a Merry Christmas. I wish you all good health and God's blessing. May God's Love, which has bound Heaven to Earth, touch every human heart, comfort us, and give us the strength to courageously overcome all the difficulties and complexities of our earthly existence. Let the light of reason that the son of God brought us, who became the Son of Man, shine in each of us, a light that reveals untruth, even if it is hidden under the guise of nobility, a light that shows us the path leading to Paradise. Amen. Merry Christmas!"

Senior Bishop of the Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith of Ukraine, Mykhailo Panochko, joins the Christmas greetings:

"I extend my heartfelt greetings to you on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ and The New Year 2022!

We believe in him who came to this earth, not to punish, but to save; not to maim, but to heal. He came not to humiliate man, but to raise his dignity; not to throw the yoke of slavery, but to free him. Merry Christmas!"

The Fraternity of Evangelical Baptist Christians wishes spiritual strength and growth in faith to all Ukrainians.

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