Ukrainians will celebrate Christmas together with Europe
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine will switch to the Revised Julian calendar from September 1. Earlier, the same decision was announced by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. From now on, believers in Ukraine will celebrate Christmas together with Europe. The corresponding decision was made by the Council of Bishops chaired by His Beatitude Epiphanius Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine after its adoption at a meeting of the Holy Synod the day before.
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) reported on its Facebook page.
One Bishop voted against the switch, and another abstained.
Parishes and monasteries that wish to do so have the right to use the old calendar.
Later, on July 27, 2023, the local council of the church with the participation of laypeople should formally approve the switch. However, as stated in the OCU, this issue has already been resolved and this will happen from September 1.
The switch to the new calendar was a difficult step for the OCU, which was not decided for decades. Priests were afraid that people would not accept the reform or go to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), which, together with the Russian Orthodox Church, is against the implementation of the reform.
But after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, this issue also became political, and the majority of Ukrainians supported this step.
The difference between the old Julian calendar and the new Gregorian calendar is 13 days.
Therefore, starting from September 1, most Christians in Ukraine can start celebrating religious holidays in a new way. Christmas will be on December 25, not January 7. Other holidays will also shift, such as Intercession of the Theotokos (October 1), Epiphany (January 6) and Saint Nicholas Day (December 6). But this will not apply to Easter and some other holidays, in particular Trinity Sunday.
Most Orthodox churches in the world live according to the new calendar, and the old one has so far been used only by churches in Ukraine, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Serbian and Georgian churches. Of the old Patriarchates, only the Patriarchate of Jerusalem uses it.
Secular Ukraine, along with most other countries, has been living for more than 100 years according to the more accurate Gregorian calendar, introduced in the XVI century.
Recall that in Ukraine, the Orthodox Church founded in Russia – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) - still legally and actually operates. Over the past year, the Security Service of Ukraine has conducted numerous counterintelligence activities at its facilities in all regions. On the territory of pro-Moscow churches, "libraries with pro-Kremlin literature, propaganda leaflets of political parties banned in Ukraine, and Russian symbols" were found. The UOC (Moscow Patriarchate) remains one of the most dangerous tools of Russian propaganda in Ukraine, which is actively used by the enemy.