UKRAINIAN BISHOPS’ PRO-LIFE INITIATIVE
March 11, 2017
THE SYNOD OF UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS IN UKRAINE INITIATES MAJOR PRO-LIFE ACTION
At their mid-September meeting in 2016, the local Ukrainian Catholic Synod of Bishops for Ukraine initiated an annual day of acknowledgment and prayer to, God willing, turn the tide of the abortion problem still extant in that country. The number of abortions in Ukraine has dropped drastically since Ukraine slipped out of the clutches of the Soviet Union, but, as the Bishops mention in their 2017 Lenten Message – the number is still devastating.
What the bishops called for was that every parish throughout the country would organize local events and programs on the second Saturday of the Great Fast (Lent) to remember the country’s aborted children and pray for an end to abortion. This year, the second Sunday of Lent occurred on March 11. In connection with that day, the Bishops ask that on following day – the second Sunday of Lent, “since more people will be in church on that day” – the priest will preach a sermon on the theme of “protection and value of human life from the moment of conception to natural death and the need to ask forgiveness for the killing of inborn children”. They also propose a couple of petitions to be added to the Insistent Litany as well as additional prayers* that are to be prayed together with the whole congregation after the Sunday Divine Liturgy.
The Litany petitions:
“We also pray, O Lord, for the children who were intentionally killed in the wombs of their mothers, and also for those that were victims of human actions and experimentation and died not having received the Mystery [Sacrament] of Baptism. You baptize them, O Lord, in the ocean of Your mercy that they would not be denied Your Divine light and the Kingdom of Heaven.”
“Lord God, the Salvation of Your servants, You do not desire the death of sinners, but that they be converted and live. Have mercy today on Your servants – the mothers and fathers, who willingly allowed an abortion, as well as all those associated with the sin of intentional infanticide. Grant them the grace of repentance and reconcile them to Your holy Church.”
Prayers after the Divine Liturgy:
Prayer to End Abortion
Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. Today I commit myself never to be silent, never to be passive, never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, And never to stop defending life until all my brothers and sisters are protected, And our nation once again becomes a nation with liberty and justice not just for some, but for all, Through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Prayer for Aborted Children
Heavenly Father, You have given us the gift of freedom to love and to follow in Your ways and commands. Some parents choose to abuse this freedom by destroying the gift of life which You gave to their offspring. Please forgive those who destroy human life by aborting their unborn babies. Give these unborn children the opportunity to enjoy You for all eternity, if it according to Your ordinance. Assist me in being one in solidarity with Your little ones by taking to heart the words of Your Son, "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me." (Mt. 25:40) Therefore, allow me today, Father, to adopt spiritually an unborn child and to offer my prayers, works, joys and sufferings for that little one, so that child will be able to be born and live for Your greater honour and glory. We pray this in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Source: UGCC Commission for Pastoral Care for Heath Issues UGCC NEWS website
*These payers are Ukrainian versions of popular pro-Life prayers commonly used in the Catholic prolife movement