OCU members in Volyn request to celebrate Christmas on December 25

13 November 2019 21:03
Illustrative image. Photo: unian.net Illustrative image. Photo: unian.net

At the initiative of a local deputy, supporters of the OCU turned to “Metropolitan” Mikhail with a request to hold a Christmas “service” on December 25th.

In the Volyn region, more than 300 adherents of the OCU signed a request addressed to the "Metropolitan" Mikhail to begin the Christmas fast on November 14 and perform a Christmas "Divine service" on December 25, reports the “Pershyi” channel.

The initiator of the action was the deputy of the Volyn Regional Council Nikolai Buliga. According to him, the "hierarch" of the newly created religious organization agreed to serve the Christmas "service" on December 25 if there are people willing to participate in the worship.

Deputies of the Volyn Regional and Lutsk City Councils, the “Prosvita” society, as well as the head physician of the regional hospital Ivan Sidor, were among those who signed the letter.

One of the main motives of the initiators of this novelty was the fact that the post-Soviet space celebrates Christmas on January 7, and in 1923 Constantinople decided to celebrate this feast on December 25.

“December 25 is not only Catholic Christmas but all-Christian. The Pan-Orthodox Council in Constantinople in 1923 decided that Orthodox Christians, according to a more accurate Gregorian calendar, should celebrate Christmas on December 25th. All countries except those that were under the influence of the Soviet Union agreed to this,” reads the text of the letter. “Most of the local Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25. However, Ukraine still remains in the Soviet (now Russian) paradigm, celebrating Christmas on January 7 in company with the aggressor Russia.”

The drafters of the document called for a review of the family traditions of Ukraine and “return to common Christian values” and asked to shift the start date of the Nativity Lent from November 28 to November 14.

“We ask Your blessing to begin the Nativity Lent on November 14, so that, without violating the church’s statute, we can celebrate Christmas according to the rules and traditions of the Orthodox Church on December 25, as is written in every Orthodox calendar and the Menologion,” the authors concluded.

We recall that in November 2017, the people's deputy from the "Will of the People" Yevgeny Rybchinsky said that January 7 is not Orthodox Christmas. At the same time, Alexander Turchinov noted that with the celebration of the Nativity of Christ on December 25, Ukraine distanced from Moscow calendars.

On November 16, 2017, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine decided to consider December 25 as an all-Ukrainian day off. 238 deputies voted for the bill.

In December 2018, the head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko said that he did not rule out the transition of his church structure to a new calendar style.

Later, from December 19 to December 25, 2018, the Ilk Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Fund, together with the sociological service of the Razumkov Centre, conducted a sociological survey in all regions of Ukraine, with the exception of Crimea and the territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. During the survey, two-thirds of Ukrainians said they would celebrate Christmas on January 7th.

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