The Act of placing Ukraine under the Intercession of the Blessed Mother

The Act of placing Ukraine under the Intercession of the Blessed Mother will be renewed April 5-6, 2014
In continuing the service of my great predecessors on the Kyiv-Halych Altar, I desire once again, in communion with our whole Church in Ukraine and in settlements, to renew the Act of consecrating the Ukrainian people under the mighty Intercession of the Blessed Mother.
The Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) wrote about this in his Pastoral Letter to the Faithful and Clergy On the occasion of the Renewal of the Act of Consecration of Ukraine to the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God.
The Act of the placing of Ukraine under the Protection of the Mother of God will take place on Sunday, 6 April 2014 in all the churches of our Church in Ukraine and throughout the World. His Beatitude Sviatoslav will lead from the Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv; all Bishops will lead this Consecration from their Cathedral churches; and priests within their parish churches following each Divine Liturgy.
The 6th of April is not a casual choice, since April 5th this year is “Akathistos Saturday” (the day during Lent when Mary is honoured) and on April 7th according to our Byzantine rite (on the Julian Calendar – widely used in the Ukrainian Church) we will celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
His Beatitude reminds us that back in his day, the pious Prince Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054)dedicated the people of Kyivan-Rus’ to the Protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary. This dedication was renewed at Zarvanytsja in 1995 by Myroslav-Ivan Cardinal Lubachivsky, of blessed memory.
The UGCC Primate, is calling for this act of renewing the Consecration to the Protection of the Theotokos, because of the great tribulation that all the people and our entire country are experiencing at this time due to the occupation of part of our land – a situation that fills our hearts with anxiety for the future, uncertainty and fear. The letter states, “taking into consideration these new historical circumstances, I want to direct your spiritual eyes toward the Mother of God and in response to her loving and caring presence in our lives – to place all of us in her motherly care.”
“By this Act we solemnly recognize God’s watchfulness over us, we express our love toward the Mother of God, our readiness to fulfil all that her Son and our Lord Jesus commands us; and our desire to serve God and our nation only in the light of God’s law. May this prayer to the Most Holy Mother of God be a concrete demonstration of our desire to implement this Consecration in our lives. We will observe this consecration personally and communally, petitioning our Lord for His blessing upon our longsuffering nation through the intercession of the Theotokos”, states the Pastoral Letter.
His Beatitude Sviatoslav reminds the Faithful that the Most Holy Mother of God is near us especially at the Liturgy, “she joins us in the unending praise of the Most High, while at the same time, as a loving mother she continuously intercedes for us before the Lord”.
The Head of the Church asks that everyone prepare themselves for this solemn event – by approaching the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist and by performing acts of charity and penance.
The Primate of the UGCC wrote that, “I invite and call upon all Bishops, Priests, Monks and Nuns and Faithful of our Church to persevere in trust and prayer to Mary, the Mother of God, so that, always kept under her protection, and after the struggles and accomplishments of the Great Fast, we would arrive at the radiant Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ to be witnesses to and participants in the renewal of our dear homeland!”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted in his commentary to the UGCC Information Department that, “we proposed to our brothers of the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine to also perform such acts of consecration, since at the time when Prince Yaroslav the Wise initiated them – the Kyivan Church was undivided. Thus, we hope that they will also carry out such liturgical ceremonies.”
His petition is that – through the intercession of the Mother of God – our people would receive the blessing of the omnipotent God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Information Department of the UGCC

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