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Ukraine: OCU transitions to the New-Style Calendar

01. Juni 2023

On May 24th, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) decided to switch to a new calendar. The decision was made at the Hierarchical Council of the OCU held in the Refectory Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv. This was reported by the Ukrainian service of the BBC. One bishop voted against the transition, while another abstained. Formally, the transition still needs to be approved by the Local Council of the Church on July 27, 2023, with the participation of laypeople.

However, as stated by the Head of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy, and a number of other bishops, the matter has already been resolved, and the transition will take place from September 1st. The shift to the revised-Julian calendar is a significant step that has not been taken for decades.

The difference between the old Julian calendar and the revised-Julian calendar is currently 13 days. Christmas will be celebrated on December 25th instead of January 7th. Other holidays such as the Intercession (October 1st), Epiphany (January 6th), and St. Nicholas Day (December 6th) will also be adjusted. However, this change will not affect Easter and some other holidays, including Trinity.

"This decision is awaited not only by the majority of our Church faithful but also by the majority of Ukrainian society. It is not an easy decision; we have been moving towards it for a long time, step by step, and we are making it thoughtfully. But it is as necessary as the decision to introduce the Ukrainian language into worship instead of the traditional Slavic language or to establish autocephalous governance of the Church instead of centuries-long subordination. Not everyone has accepted these decisions. Not everyone has supported them, but they have been faithful and vital. The decision to transition to the updated calendar, which is more astronomically and ecclesiastically accurate while preserving the traditional Pascha, is equally faithful and vital for us," said Metropolitan Epifaniy, commenting on the historic decision of the Council. (Quelle:, 24. Mai 2023)