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Prayer for Peace in Ukraine

by Michael Ford last modified 02 Mar, 2022 04:09 PM

On Sunday 27 February, hundreds gathered at Salisbury Cathedral to pray for peace in Ukraine.

The service included the reading of a poem written by Tetiana Kotelnik, and read by her son, Taras Kotelnik. Tetiana is currently in Ukraine preparing to defend her village. 

The organiser Olga Kott and her children lit a symbolic candle in the nave, a symbol of hope over darkness, and when the prayers drew to a close hundreds of people rose to their feet to applaud. Olga says:

"First of all we would like to say thank you for all who came to support us last Sunday. It was so great to see how many people were feeling for Ukraine, holding our hands and crying with us. 

People kindly offered their help and we decided to set up the page for building up funds. It's not easy but we will try our best to organise help directly to Ukraine where people are suffering the most now, as residential areas and hospitals are destroyed.

I also work with a small charity - Hope&Homes for children. They are in the Ukraine at the moment; they bravely decided to stay even during the war and organise emergency packages of food, clothes, medicine and tape to prevent explosions and broken glass-injuring people. They are also preparing safe evacuation of children and families from the war zone. We are in contact with people who are supporting the refugees with whatever they need too."

The Dean of Salisbury, The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, said “Salisbury knows what it is to be subject to unprovoked attack. Four years ago a nerve agent was deployed in our city. One of our neighbours died, and the lives of many were changed fundamentally. In a very small way the experience gives us an insight into what is happening in Ukraine. Its people are subject to unprovoked attack. Many are dying, and the lives of many more are being changed fundamentally and permanently. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, assuring them of our support and praying for the immediate cessation of hostilities and for a just and lasting peace”. 

Below is a rough translation of the poem read at the service, powerful words that we can use to guide us in our prayers for Ukraine:

Ukraine will win! 
My country is being crucified by the enemy
The neighbour's boots crossed the border. 
The bell towers of God's temples are sounding the alarm. 
In the cities - the war is a bloody landfill. 
The whole of Ukraine was overwhelmed with grief, 
In the handkerchiefs of black widows, mothers ... 
Salty tears shed the sea, 
Deep wounds gape in the ground. 
My Ukraine! You are in danger 
Despite the enemy's insidious snarl
He did not overcome the fortress 
And predatory plans failed. 
We have been praying to God ever since 
Men and sons went to battle, 
To break out of the vicious circle, 
Outlined by the compass of war. 
I believe - Ukraine will win! 
That the expected time will come, 
When the missing monster is hostile 
And peace will come to earth for us! 
Tatiena Kotelnik
There are also prayer resources available for you to pray for the situation in Ukraine on the 24-7 prayer website. 

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