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Church

Pan-Orthodox Vespers and Prayer for Peace in Ukraine Held in Boston

BOSTON – On Sunday, March 13, the first Sunday of Great Lent – known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy – His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios presided at a Pan-Orthodox vesper service dedicated to prayers for peace in Ukraine. He was joined by 22 Orthodox Clergy of the Greater Boston area at the St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Jamaica Plain, for the service held with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.

The St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox church was full during the Panorthodox vespers service for peace in Ukraine. (Photo provided by the Metropolis of Boston)

Metropolitan Methodios in his homily said among other things the following:

“What we celebrate is not a display of archaeological tokens, but a living and life-giving force in the lives of believing men and women.”

“’Orthodoxy’ is not an empty, triumphalistic slogan, nor a procession of beautiful icons, nor simply a Church of colorful observances and rituals as it is unfortunately considered by many. Orthodoxy is the Church of Christ. Betrayed. Condemned. Crucified, but always Resurrected throughout the centuries.

“Is Orthodoxy not betrayed, condemned and crucified in our times?  I am afraid we have little reason to be triumphant about Orthodoxy these days as we witness Orthodox killing fellow Orthodox… As we have Patriarchs who are not in communion with one another…

Three weeks ago, Russia launched an unjust and violent invasion into Ukraine. We gather tonight to pray for all those lives afflicted by this brutal assault. The implications of this humanitarian tragedy are being felt throughout Ukraine, indeed throughout the world.

“We are witnessing an immense tragedy of human suffering. We especially mourn the deaths of innocent children.

Metropolitan Methodios of Boston delivers his homily at the Panorthodox vespers service at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Jamaica Plain praising the courage of the Ukrainian People. (Photo provided by the Metropolis of Boston)

“Tonight, we offer prayers for all the Ukrainian People – those of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and those of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate. We pray for our brethren in the Ukrainian Catholic and the Ukrainian Jewish communities, for those belonging to a religion, and for those without a religion. Indeed, for all those who find themselves in the dire circumstances of war.

“As we watch the news on television, we are inspired by the incredible courage of the Ukrainian people who are facing terrible adversity with valor. We are inspired by the bravery of the thousands of Russian brethren who are risking their freedom – and perhaps even their lives – as they protest this unprovoked, barbaric attack. We pray that the Lord will hear our prayers and will not abandon his beloved children of Ukraine.”

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