Prayers for Ukraine
On Thursday 24th February, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, called on all Anglicans to hold in prayer the people and churches of Ukraine, those attacked, those injured, those fleeing as refugees and those killed. Their prayer reads:
"God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine today. We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons. We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow, that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them. We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions. Above all, we pray for your precious children, at risk and in fear, that you would hold and protect them. We pray in the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace. Amen."
On 25th February, the Dean attended the first day of the Council of European Churches Regional Pre-Assembly ahead of the World Council of Churches 11th World Assembly in August, as the Church of Ireland's representative. Due to have been held in Warsaw, Poland, but because of Covid, the conference is being held virtually on line.
The World Council of Churches in its present form, was built by the Churches of Europe and around the world out of the ashes of the Second World War. At the opening session of the European Assembly held on Friday 25th February was overshadowed by events unfolding hour by hour in Ukraine. In the opening session, Dr Pavlo Smytsnyuk of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, Lviv, Ukraine delivered a powerful and considered paper which moved all of the delegates.
Dr Smytsnyuk's address can be read below.
Across the churches of Europe, Ash Wednesday is being marked as a special day of Prayer for Ukraine. It is prayer which is always the power of God's people in the face of the darkest of crises.