UN President Guterres said the proposed pause would allow the evacuation of civilians from current or expected areas of confrontation and the delivery of more humanitarian aid to cities in need: Mariupol, Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson. According to him, more than 4 million people in these areas need help.
I call on Russians and Ukrainians to shut up and pave the way to safety for so many people who are in immediate danger. The four-day Easter period should be a moment to unite around saving lives and further dialogue to end the suffering in Ukraine, Guterres said.
National holidays of Ukraine in 2022. Orthodox Easter Day this year
At Vespers on Sunday April 24 in the evening, people can bow to each other and ask for forgiveness. Another name for Forgiveness Sunday is Cheese Sunday, because for devout Orthodox Christians, this is the last day when dairy products can be consumed before Easter. Fish, wine and olive oil will also be banned on most days of Lent. The day following Cheese Sunday is called Clean Monday because people confessed their sins, asked for forgiveness and started Lent from scratch.
When is Orthodox Easter 2022?
Easter represents the hope that everything will work out in the end, even if everything looks hopeless. The pope addressed the war in Ukraine in his weekend sermons, highlighting the grief and hopelessness of Jesus disciples, the plight of women who, according to the Bible, wanted to go to Jesus tomb. You know, we Ukrainians are actually very hopeful people.
This set new tasks for the Ukrainian church in the exarchy, which has only 22 clergy. For them, Easter can be stressful. Andrey Khimchuk, a Ukrainian priest, is in charge of parishes in Bamberg, Würzburg and Nuremberg. Every weekend I drive 360 kilometers. To be honest, it is hard, says the 35-year-old.
Christianity in Ukraine officially dates back over a thousand years, and today about 85 percent of Ukrainians are Christians, most of them Orthodox. The war divided the Orthodox churches in Russia and Ukraine.
Ukrainians filled churches Sunday for an Easter wake that combined ancient traditions with the reality of war. The country small Roman Catholic community celebrated Easter with services that, like other churches, were attended by families, many missing men, from participating in the fighting or volunteering in the war effort. The 14th-century basilica of the Archcathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary had only standing room. When the pews were filled, an elderly woman in a silk skirt slowly knelt on the hard stone floor under the vaulted ceiling to pray. Outside, near religious statues wrapped to protect against airstrikes, she placed a plastic cup filled with white spring flowers under a plaque dedicated to Pope John Paul II. Just a few steps from the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the faithful flocked to the Garrison of Saints Peter and Paul. Church, Greek Catholic Church, which, like most churches in Ukraine, follows the Julian calendar, with Easter falling on the following Sunday.
There are more than 100 churches in Lviv, some of which are located in the historic center of the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Website. The city in western Ukraine escaped much of the destruction of churches, though not their closure, by the atheistic Soviet authorities who ruled the country until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
The best way to experience local Easter traditions, culture, folklore, and food is to visit one of the Easter festivals at open-air museums. The most popular place in Lviv is Shevchenkivsky Hay, and in Kyiv there are two places worth visiting - Pirogov and Kievan Rus Park in Kopachev. The festivities usually take place on the Easter weekend. During these holidays, you are likely to see young people dressed in vyshyvankas going for a walk and singing vesnyanki, traditional songs that welcome spring and new life. In addition, similar performances can be seen in churchyards on Sunday after Easter.
Masnitsa is an ancient Slavic holiday, marked by the mass baking of cakes, which are called mlintsy in Ukrainian. In pagan tradition Masnitsa marks the end of winter. The people of Mlin themselves resemble the sun and, as part of the festivities, they burn an effigy of winter, symbolizing rebirth and the coming spring. Masnitsa got its current name and place in the calendar when Kievan Rus converted to Orthodoxy. A week before Lent, Orthodox Christians do not eat meat. Mlintsy are vegetarian, so they can be freely consumed during the pre-Lenten period.
The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on Wednesday asked the clergy and faithful to refuse nightly Easter services in areas of the country affected by the fighting, fearing that Russian shelling would continue during the Orthodox Easter period. Metropolitan Epiphanius said in a televised address that he has little faith that the pause in shelling by Russian troops, proposed by the Ukrainian Association of Churches and Religious Communities during the Orthodox Easter Christian Easter festivities, will be held. It is hard to believe that this will really happen, because the enemy is trying to completely destroy us, he said.
Ukrainian church leaders have been at odds with Russia since Ukraine formed a new Orthodox church in 2018, ending centuries of religious ties with Moscow. Both Ukrainians and Russians are predominantly Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox Easter service begins late on Saturday and ends on Sunday morning, when the traditional feast begins. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also said on Wednesday that it is grateful for the separate initiative of UN Secretary-General António Guterres. about a four-day Easter humanitarian truce that could start on Thursday. The ceasefire was necessary for the safe evacuation of thousands of civilians from areas of ongoing and possible hostilities, especially from the long-suffering city of Mariupol. Dozens of churches and other religious and cultural websites in Ukraine were damaged or destroyed after Russia invaded the country on February 24.
Epiphanius said that Easter services could be held in the morning or afternoon, and that priests should try to avoid crowds in churches. Believers can also watch the Easter service on television or online, he said.