The Holydays of the Church Year

We are part of the historical Ukrainian Church, which has existed for over 1,000 years. The rebirth of the self-governing Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in 1921 restored this ancient church to its original independence and, after an initial period of persecution lasting into the 1930s, led to the restoration of the hierarchy in 1942.

Unfortunately, the situation in Ukraine after World War II did not allow the church to flourish there under Soviet domination. The Ukrainian hierarchy, clergy and laity were coerced to join the Russian Orthodox Church or face imprisonment and death. Many were able to flee to the West, primarily through Germany.

The bishops and people of the UAOC brought their faith and form of church government to the Diaspora, particularly the United States, where outstanding leaders such as Metropolitans Hryhoriyj Ohiyjchuk, Ivan Theodorovych and Mystyslav Skrypnik (later Patriarch) held the Ukrainian people together in preserving their religious and cultural heritage, their Ukrainian language and particular ecclesiology, "sobornopravnist", which is a synergy of the clergy and laity with representation in church government. It was Metropolitan Hryhoriyj who sought to strongly emphasize the ideals of "sobornopravnist" or "concilliarism" while he served as chief hierarch of the "Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. SOBORNOPRAVNA."

Today, at the turn of another century, the church hierarchy, under the strong and viable administration of Metropolitan Stephan and the capable pastoral guidance of Archbishop Michael, both of whom are Ukrainian, has re-instilled a proud Ukrainian identity and vision for the Metropolia. This strong leadership has led to a rebirth of the UAOC in the Diaspora and has brought the church back to the forefront of recognition in worldwide religious circles. Our church ministers beyond the borders of the United States, including an Eparchy in Western Europe and parishes in Canada.

Now, at the beginning of the Twenty-First century and the third millennium, the Ukrainian Church is more relevant than ever, in making Christianity alive and understandable to the modern world and to real people. This relevance is enhanced by the richness of Ukrainian church art, chant, hymnography and the distinct and ancient liturgical recension which characterizes Ukrainian Christianity.

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