Shevchuk: UGCC to switch to new calendar in September

06 February 19:55
UGCC head Sviatoslav Shevchuk. Photo: UGCC head Sviatoslav Shevchuk. Photo:

The head of the UGCC stated that the second stage of the calendar reform will be the transition to the new Easter Calendar.

Starting from September 1, 2023, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) in Ukraine will celebrate non-transitory holidays according to the new calendar style, while maintaining the traditional Easter feasts. Such a decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Greek Catholic Church was announced by the head of the UGCC, Sviatoslav Shevchuk.

He stressed that it is not only about the postponement of the celebration of Christmas. "Everyone should understand that we will celebrate the Epiphany on January 6, the Intercession feast on October 1, the Feast of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross – on September 14, etc.," the leader of the Uniates said.

According to him, keeping the present Eastern Easter Calendar is a temporary measure and the second stage of the UGCC calendar reform will concern Easter. He linked this phase to the celebration in 2025 of the 1700th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, at which it was decided on the method for determining the date of Easter.

"The Paschalia by which the Byzantine churches live has its pluses and minuses, and it needs to be reformed. But the Paschalia by which the Roman Catholic Church lives – the Gregorian Paschalia – is also imperfect. And in preparation for the anniversary of the Council of Nicaea, a dialogue between Rome and Constantinople, between the Apostolic Capital and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, work is being done today on a jointly updated Paschalia so that Christians around the world can celebrate Easter on the same day," Shevchuk said.

According to him, those parishes of the UGCC which for some reason are not ready for a quick transition to the new style will be able to adhere to the Julian calendar until 2025.

He also noted that he would very much like the experience of the UGCC calendar reform to serve the "Orthodox brothers" of the OCU.

"I sincerely believe that this year, together with our Orthodox brothers, we will celebrate Christmas on December 25 and together we will consecrate water in the Dnieper on January 6," the Greek Catholic leader emphasized.

As reported, in December 2022, Sviatoslav Shevchuk and the head of the OCU, Epifaniy Dumenko, "coordinated positions" on the reform of the church calendar and decided to establish a joint working group to work out specific proposals.

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