UOC hierarch: Christmas date shift will only worsen calendar problem

16 November 2022 16:27
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Archbishop Viktor of Artsyz. Photo: uspenskiy-monastery.od.ua Archbishop Viktor of Artsyz. Photo: uspenskiy-monastery.od.ua

Archbishop Viktor of Artsyz has commented on the decision of the OCU "synod" to shift the date of the Christmas celebration.

The head of the Odessa Eparchy, Abp Viktor of Artsyz, found illogical the decision of the OCU "synod" to allow the X-mass date shift without changing the calendar.

Vladyka drew the attention of the faithful that Christmas carols begin to be sung in churches long before the feast itself, including the hymns "Christ is born," which are sung at Matins beginning with the Feast of the Presentation, and the words and thoughts dedicated to Christmas, which are used in cycles of verses to St. Andrew the Apostle and Nicholas the Wonderworker.

"The two Sundays preceding the feast are dedicated to the remembrance of Christ the Saviour's ancestors according by flesh and are called the weeks of the Holy Fathers and the Holy Forefathers. Here we get nonsense: this year for those who celebrate Christmas on December 25, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers will disappear altogether, while the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, the Sunday before Christmas, will suddenly appear one week after Christmas. In the same way, it is impossible to imagine the Nativity of Christ without five days of the Forefeast, when at the Vespers one can read the touching songs and canons that form the connection of Christmas with the Feast of Feasts - Holy Pascha," said archbishop Viktor.

The UOC hierarch stressed that such liturgical wealth in the form of masterpieces of church hymnography cannot go unclaimed.

"One gets the impression that the absurd decision of the "holy synod of the OCU", which allows the transfer of a single celebration without changing the calendar, was written by illiterate people who have no idea either about the worship of the Orthodox Church or about the essence of the church calendar, because instead of solving the calendar problem, in fact, it is proposed to aggravate it," added the hierarch.

As reported, the OCU "synod" authorized the rectors of parishes to decide on the Christmas date.

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