CHANCELLOR’ S REFLECTIONS
… and Glory be to God for His ever-sustaining and always Providential Love and Care for everyone of us … sons and daughters of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, including His Eminence Metropolitan Yurij, beginning his retirement, and His Grace Bishop Ilarion, beginning his new and additional service as the Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan Throne of our beloved UOCC!
In the Orthodox Church the day begins with the setting of the sun – and the first service of the (liturgical) day is the Vespers (Vechirnya – Вечірня.) The Vespers service begins with the joyous proclamation of Psalm 103(104), beginning with “Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, You have been greatly magnified: You are clothed in confession and majesty.” (v.1)
We are all collective witnesses to this greatness of God working through two human beings (Vladyka Yurij and Vladyka Ilarion,) to care for this part of His Holy Vineyard – our beloved and near and dear to us all UOCC.
Vladyka Mytropolit Yurij retires from his ministry of service which started long before his ordination to the Holy Diaconate and Priesthood just under 33 years ago in Hamilton, ON during the Millenium Celebrations in 1988. Vladyka Yurij served as a bishop for almost twenty-one years, before being elected as the sixth metropolitan of the UOCC at the XXII Sobor in 2010. For eleven years, Vladyka Mytropolit carried the Omophor of the Primate of our UOCC – until today.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions and consequences thereof that are still with us across Canada, our UOCC needs to delay the formal and most appropriate retirement event to express our gratitude for Vladyka
Mytropolit Yurij’s service and example over these many years, including 11 years as our Metropolitan. For now, we wish Vladyka Yurij all the very best in his retirement – May God grant you, Vladyka – health of body and soul for Many Blessed Years! На Многі та Благі Літа!
In accordance with the By-Laws of our UOCC (s. 5.03,) His Grace Bishop Ilarion (as the next ranking senior Bishop,) shall serve in that office (of the Metropolitan) on an interim basis with the title of locum tenens.
This means that His Grace (Його Преосвященство) Vladyka Ilarion, in obedience to the Lord, Our God, who calls and sustains us as we do our best to serve Him, becomes, in addition to the Bishop of Edmonton and the Western Eparchy, the Bishop who “stands in place of” = Locum Tenens, of the Metropolitan Throne (which includes the Central Eparchy.)
This is a change for us all, clergy and faithful of our UOCC – and most especially for Vladyka Ilarion. Let us be grateful that God has called us all to this opportunity to welcome Vladyka Ilarion to his new and additional ministry and service in and for our UOCC. Let us fervently pray that God blesses all of our souls (Psalm 104, above,) and through blessing the soul of Vladyka Ilarion – that he lead our beloved UOCC past the pandemic of Covid-19, and on to the XXIVth Sobor of our UOCC, now scheduled to be held in 2022 (before July 10th.) May God grant you, Vladyka Ilarion, strength, and health of body and soul for Many Blessed Years! На Многі та Благі Літа!
… and let us always remember … з нами Бог, God (is) with us! (Fr.) Taras Udod,
The photo that follows is from June 4, 2017 in Lethbridge, AB – and now of His Grace Ilarion, Bishop of Edmonton and the Western Eparchy, Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan Throne (of the UOCC.)