At the epicenter of Christ’s resurrection, this explosion of love, is the person of Mary of Magdala, a small fishing town on the shore of the sea of Galilee; today we pause to reflect on Mary’s importance to the Christian faith. Mary has unfairly been the object of confusion, and at times, derision; certainly she has been mischaracterized.
In light of the distressing developments in Ukraine affecting millions of innocent people in the region, I wholeheartedly urge you to pray for peace and the well-being of our brothers and sisters who are enduring this tragic moment.
I ask that the hostilities be ceased immediately and that President Putin put an end to the military operations. As Orthodox Christians, we condemn violence and aggression.
I offer my support and prayers to my brother and concelebrant, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, who has the most difficult task of leading his beloved flock in this time of pain and anxiety. I also assure my prayers to the other religious leaders serving in Ukraine who have the delicate task of leading their communities in these difficult times.
To our beloved Ukrainian brothers and sisters, as well to all of you who are certainly troubled and concerned about these recent developments, I offer the words that the Lord Himself offers to us through His Psalmist: “The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace (Ps 29:11).”
May we fervently offer our petition to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to have mercy on us “for the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all.”
Yours in Christ, +Tikhon Archbishop of Washington Metropolitan of All America and Canada
[To be inserted after the petition for the departed] Again we pray for those who have lost their lives because of the war in Ukraine: that the Lord our God may look upon them with mercy, and give them rest where there is neither sickness, or sorrow, but life everlasting.
[To be inserted after the petition for the living] Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, for those who are suffering, wounded, grieving, or displaced because of the war in Ukraine.
Again we pray for a cessation of the hostilities against Ukraine, and that reconciliation and peace will flourish there, we pray thee, hearken and have mercy.