risu.org.ua - The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) will never agree to independence of the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Monday, at a ceremonial act in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on the occasion of his 70th anniversary with the participation of the heads and representatives of all 15 Local Churches, RIA Novosti reported.

“I thank His Beatitude Onufriy (UOC (MP) - Ed.). For his courage and firmness in defending the holy Orthodoxy and for the preservation of canonical unity of the Church. Our church will never leave Ukrainian brothers in trouble and will not abandon them. We will never agree to change the sacred canonical borders of the Church, because Kyiv is the spiritual cradle of holy Rus, like Mtskheta for Georgia and Kosovo or for Serbia,” Patriarch Kirill said, turning to Metropolitan Onufriy.

The hall responded to these words with applause.

Speaking of the ecclesial division in Ukraine, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said that “the sin of schism is healed not by violence and deceit, but through repentance and love in Christ.”

"The painful ulcer of the Ukrainian division inflicts suffering on the whole body the church, and its pain can be felt not only in Ukraine, but in the canonical territory of other local churches. The danger of division in the Church is clear to all of us,” the Patriarch said.

That is why, he added, “the anathema of the Russian Church imposed on former monk Filaret Denisenko was supported by all the Local Orthodox Churches.”

“I would like to express heartfelt gratitude to those Primates and representatives of local Churches who openly support the canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine,” the hierarch of the ROC concluded.


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Christ is Risen! 
O the marvel! the forbearance! the immeasurable meekness! 
The Untouched is felt; the Master is held by a servant, 
And He reveals His wounds to one of His inner circle. 
Seeing these wounds, the whole Creation was shaken at the time. 
Thomas, when he was considered worthy of such gifts, 
Lifted up a prayer to the One Who deemed him worthy, 
Saying, "Bear my rashness with patience, 
Have pity on my unworthiness and lighten the burden 
Of my lack of faith, so that I may sing and cry, 
`Thou art our Lord and God.'" 


Kontakia of Romanos, V. 1, On Doubting Thomas