Conciliar in Christ. History one Easter with the military

22 April 2014, 10:08 | Reports | view photo | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Tetiana MUKHOMOROVA

140422_8.jpgMore and more often one can hear talks about interdenominational unity, and these talks have especially intensified on the eve of Easter. But it is worth talking about the true unity that is already beginning to emerge, claiming to become a powerful movement that will bring Ukraine together both in spiritual and patriotic dimensions, rather than about pure reflections. An example of this was the Easter service of the representatives of several denominations who went at night to greet the soldiers at three block posts in Kherson region on the border of the Crimea.

“Today, we first demonstrate a unity in Christ. This is the most important now in order to unite people and fighters in the spiritual plane, to focus on what is common rather than different between representatives of different denominations. And we must understand how grateful the commanders are to us for having the opportunity to participate in these common prayers, inviting us again and again”, father Serhiy Dmytriev (UOC-MP) from Kherson shares his thoughts on the journey about which we have written several times.

Festive preparations began earlier, when in the night the Greek Catholics from Khmelnytsky came to the city to transfer few thousand cakes with personal wishes for the soldiers to Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Donetsk. They traveled without sleep for two days to deliver the gifts in time before the beginning of the Easter, carrying gifts not only for their brothers in the Church, but for adherents of all denominations.

The celebration started in the evening of April 19, when the parishioners of St. Barbara Church in Kherson, whose rector is Fr. Sergey Dmitriev, came for the earlier service. Even the shortened festive service traditionally ended with a communal meal on the church’s premises, representing Christ’s table. Subsequently, all participants of the special ‘field’ mission started gathering at 3:00 AM.

The departure could be called a true spiritual ‘landing force’, which consisted of three cars. Rector of Tauride Christian University and renowned Baptist pastor Valentin Syniy and Fr. Ivan of the UGCC set off together with Fr. Serhiy. Journalists and public figures set off with them in the night, as the visits to three borderline block posts were scheduled.

“Today the UGCC chaplains are being very actively mobilized, providing pastoral care for the security forces. This Easter, we distributed Easter cakes in 10 000 units, and they were not simply sent out to servicemen, they were personally handed by the priests that performed services and read prayers with the soldiers. At the Defense Ministry there is an opinion that we should not implement chaplaincy institute because it will provoke confessional conflicts. But this example of an Easter proves that there is unity and there is no conflict, we unite with all Christians to help the soldiers. Together we bring the news of the Resurrection. This kind of unity is the most important thing we can do in life”, stresses Fr. Lubomir Jaworski (UGCC).

At 5:00 AM a column of clergy was first met by the scouts who filled up the largest tent in the unit, laying carefully the table of collected cakes and other treats. The chaplains, having a thorough knowledge of the tight military schedule, and upon preliminary agreement, celebrated a short Liturgy. Fr. Valentine Syniy was preaching about duty, remembering some edifying examples of the history of the Titanic. Fr. Ivan joined the common prayer with his own word. During the solemn liturgy all heads of Christian Churches of Ukraine were mentioned that testified to unity rather than discord in spiritual circles. We should add that among the soldiers there were many Protestants, namely the Baptists, who were impressed by the presence of chaplains and their pastor. The culmination of the first visit was folk songs performed by Honored Artist Natalia Mazur, who skillfully played on the bandura and sang, touching the heart of the fighters. Later they will fully thank guests giving them a ride in a field on an APC.

Fr. Valentin Syniy spoke along the way: “It is important not so much to say but to pass that goodness of Christ to people, expose it to them, revealing the meaning of Easter and the spiritual Resurrection. To fill the existence not with the words but with actions, communicate and interpret the actions of the Savior. And especially to support not only soldiers but also civilians, who find themselves without support and do not know who to believe and what to do next. Therefore we organize missions that visit the villages and work with people, hold discussions, not only on spiritual subjects,” says Fr. Valentin.

The Easter gift for the border guards unit becomes special, as it comes from their native lands of Khmelnytsky. Each Easter cake has an individual wishes in it, and an attached letter of congratulations from the UGCC community. The commanders carefully receive the load, so that every soldier could get a piece of something native.

The visit to the cannon and armored units who have received another chaplain of the UOC-KP has become a final chord. However, they ask to hold another service, because not all soldiers have been in place, so they come for the second round. After reading the common prayer Fr. Ivan says a sermon calling to remember the gift of God in the form of immortal soul.

“We unite spiritually in the first place, and then in the everyday life, because unity is the power of the people, by which everyone can be strengthened. Everyone has to start with oneself, this way to the union every day. In some 10-20 years all these people who strengthened the community will be referred to as heroes. Believe in what you do, be happy, because you are the people who show us the way”, he turned to the military servicemen.

Our common example of unity in the “landing force” was not the only one, but was the first portent of how it can be everywhere and how unity is possible due to the simple things that make every holiday even more special. And, if we discard prejudices and unnecessary stereotypes, we can see already today the creation of a new space, new thinking, which leads not only to the unity and strength, but also to the common spiritual development in a united country. And even this trip was possible only due to common desire, mutual aid from everywhere and common travels.

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    • barni | 17 August 2019, 20:22

      Та ні "Нінєль-міхуєль" я був неароджений простою УКРАЇНСЬКОЮ СЕЛЯНКОЮ, в простій українській хаті, з діда-прадіда правовослвній родині(на відміну від тебе). Електика в мене в хаті є. А

    • enzian | 17 August 2019, 16:18

      Мішка, пий зеленку і закусюй бинтом. Добре допомагає від москвославія головного мозку.

    • Михаил | 17 August 2019, 14:24

      Вам пора лечиться электричеством! Во всех ваших комментариях, вы постоянно говорите гадости про Католическую Церковь и даже про самого Папу. Вас что, в детстве уронили с третьего этажа или просто

    • barni | 15 August 2019, 19:37

      Що ж, поблагослови Господи, ВИБРАНИЙ БОГОМ НАРОД !!!

    • barni | 15 August 2019, 19:30

      При всій повазі до владики Св"ятослава, але ж він фальшивить, простіть владико, але простонародною мовою Ви просто БРЕШЕТЕ, яке відношення має КАТОЛИЦЬКА ЦЕРКВА, до Київської Софії !?

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