Archbishop Daniel Attends the Annual Prayer Service
for the United Nations Community
On Wednesday, November 8th, the combined Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America and of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches (SCOOCH) celebrated the 16th Annual Prayer Service for the United Nations. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Chairman of the Assembly of Bishops welcomed the assembled Hierarchs, Clergy, Ambassadors and Dignitaries of the UN Diplomatic Corps and laity to the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral, the traditional site when an Eastern Orthodox Church hosts the service. This year, the Prayer Service was dedicated and prayers offered for millions of immigrants, refugees and victims of ongoing wars throughout the world.
This year, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America presided at the Vespers Service, assisted by Clergy, Monastics, and Chanters of the Eastern Orthodox Orthodox Church. In addition to His Eminence, the following Assembly of Bishops Hierarchs were present: Archbishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (accompanied by Rev. Fr. Vasyl Pasakas - Dean of Students of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary), Bishop Sevastianos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Metropolitan Tikhon and Archbishop Michael of the Orthodox Church in America, Bishop John of the Russian Orthodox Church and Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church and Chairman of SCOOCH led the following Hierarchs of the SCOOCH delegations: Archbishop Mor Dinysius John Kawak of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldho of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, Bishop David of Coptic Orthodox Church, as well as V. Rev. Fr. Melake Hayel Made Tsion-Durden of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewehedo Church and Very Rev. Fr. Ghebremichael Yohannes of the Eritrean Orthodox Church.
Ambassadors from many Eastern and Oriental Orthodox countries were in attendance. The Honorable Miroslav Lajcak, President of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations delivered a keynote address, reflecting upon the humanitarian crisis in the countries that are touched by wars and deal with the growing issue of displaced individuals and refugees. His Excellency was followed by the remarks of Mrs. Maria Theofili, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations, who spoke of the sacred responsibility of the human person for the rest of humanity, as wars produce more refugees and cause global issues.
Two testimonies from Syrian young female refugees Arch and Adnan were read. In conclusion of the program, Archbishop Demetrios spoke of the importance of the unified efforts of the United Nations in addressing global crisis with refugees in the countries divided by wars and conflicts. During the evening ecumenical service, Archbishop offered the following prayer:
"O Lord our God, Creator of the universe and all people, You preserve and uphold all things by Your power and dominion. By Your omnipotent and Divine Will, You rule over all creation and bless every good work.
Accept now, O Master, our prayer of thanksgiving as we gather in Your name to celebrate this evening's prayer for the United Nations community. Look down from heaven upon us and continue to guide us by the power of Your Holy Spirit so that whatever we do or say may be for the benefit of all people, the upholding of human dignity, and the establishment of peace and truth throughout the world. Especially bless our diplomats and all those who have dedicated their lives for this noble and sacred mission.
Remember also, Lord, all those held in captivity, in concentration camps, afflicted by war and conflict, and those who have been uprooted from their homelands and have been rendered refugees. Protect them and bestow upon them the freedom to live with the full measure of human dignity.
Grant rest, O Lord, to the souls of the departed servants of God who have faithfully served in Your churches and for those members of the diplomatic corps who have faithfully served the United Nations here and throughout the world. May their souls find eternal rest among the righteous.
For You are the Author of life, the Prince of Peace, and to You we give glory , to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen."