|The recent geopolitical developments and aggression against Ukraine will inevitably bring suffering and death on innocent children, women and men of the country, who are – so many of them – our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Christian faith.|
As the Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, we earnestly and urgently lift up our prayers for all the people of Ukraine, imploring God that peace and justice may be restored in accordance with the spirit of the Gospel reflected in the words of Saint Paul: “For Christ is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Ephesians 2:14).
As we prepare ourselves to enter the prayerful time of Holy and Great Lent, a time of humility and repentance, we fervently and sincerely urge a change of heart, calling upon all parties and all people to refrain from further aggression, withdraw of all weapons and troops from sovereign lands, and instead to pursue de-escalation and the restoration of peace through dialogue and mutual respect.
Prayer to the Lord
O Lord, Lover of mankind, King of the ages and Giver of good things: having destroyed the divisions of enmity and grated peace unto the human race, grant even now peace unto Thy servants, planting within them the fear of Thee and establishing them in love for one another. Quench all strife, and remove all dissensions and temptations; for Thou art our peace and to Thee do we offer up glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
To the Most Holy Theotokos, Before Her Icon “The Softener of Evil Hearts”
O much sorrowing Mother of God, more highly exalted than all other of the daughters of the earth, according to thy purity and the multitude of thy suffering endured by thee on earth: Hearken to our sighs and soften the hearts of evil men, and protect us under the shelter of thy mercy. For we know no other refuge and ardent intercessor apart from thee, but as thou hast great boldness before the One Who was born of thee, help and save us by they prayers, that without offense we may attain the Heavenly Kingdom where, with all the saints, we will sing the thrice-holy hymn to One God Almighty in the Trinity, always now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.