Prayers for peace in Ukraine

Dean Andreas Loewe and Archdeacon Heather Patacca with His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church at his visit to St Paul's. St Methodius was Archbishop of Sremski Karlovci, until 1848 the centre of Serb Orthodoxy

This coming Sunday, 13 February, St Paul’s Cathedral will be leading prayers for peace in Ukraine at its services at 8am, 10am, and 4pm.

Dean Andreas Loewe said: “As many fear an escalation of the military stand-off between Russia and Ukraine, we invite you to join the clergy and people of St Paul’s Cathedral in praying for the Peace of Europe, and especially for the people of Ukraine”.

On the Sunday closest to the feast of two of Europe’s patron saints, St Cyril and St Methodius, prayers will be offered to God that the sovereignty of Ukraine be respected and for diplomatic solutions to the current stand-off; especially for effective negotiations between Russia and the United States, the member states of the European Union, and NATO.

Monday, 14 February, marks the church’s remembrance of ninth-century saints, Cyril and Methodius. Known as the “apostles to the Slavic peoples”, the Cyrillic alphabet used across many states of Eastern Europe and Russia still bears St Cyril’s name, and is testament to the esteem in which he, and his fellow missionary, are held.

The Dean said: “In his Sermon on the Mount, Christ teaches us that the peacemakers are blessed. We encourage you to join with us in praying for peace on earth, and to an end of the conflict facing Ukraine. This Sunday, please join us in earnestly praying that Christ, the prince of peace, would grant us his peace”.

The following litany of prayer, composed by the Diocesan Liturgical Committee, will be used at St Paul’s on Sunday, 13 February.

Litany for Peace in Ukraine

We stand before you in prayer, O Lord:

Silence may be kept

We pray for the safety of those in danger of armed conflict in Ukraine: comfort the fearful and strengthen the weak, O Lord, and hold your embrace in all those who face suffering and oppression: Have mercy, Lord Jesus.

We pray for all who bear the burden and privilege of leadership at this time: be with the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, NATO, the European Union and all those in authority, O Lord. Grant them the gift of wisdom and resolve in the search for a swift resolution to this crisis, and the will to work for reconciliation and lasting peace: Have mercy, Lord Jesus.

We pray for the safety of the armed forces, police and emergency services, and all who uphold the sovereignty, safety and public order of Ukraine: protect them from danger, O Lord, give them courage when facing unknown dangers: Have mercy, Lord Jesus.

We pray for religious and community leaders, and those committed to promoting peace: raise up peace-makers and peace-keepers, O Lord, and foster in the hearts of all the longing for reconciliation that is the root of lasting peace: Have mercy, Lord Jesus.

We pray for the future security of our world: grant us a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect, O Lord, and equip us to work for peace and freedom, for justice and the rule of law, that together we might go forward with confidence and hope: Have mercy, Lord Jesus.

The litany may conclude with the Lord’s Prayer and the grace, 
or with the following prayers of commitment

We commit ourselves to bring healing and transformation to the world, 
and to foster a common vision of peace:

Lord God, help us to know that goodness is stronger than evil, 
love is stronger than hate, light is stronger than darkness, life is stronger than death, 
and that victory is ours through the One who loved us so much, 
that he gave his life for his friends, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May Almighty God bless and keep us, guard our bodies,
save our souls and bring us safely to the heavenly country,
our eternal home, where he reigns forever. Amen.