The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) has decided to celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25 instead of on Jan. 7, further distinguishing itself from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP)

The decision was made on May 24 during a meeting of the bishops’ council in the Tabernacle Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Ukrainian media outlets reports.

Other holidays will also be moved: Intercession of the Theotokos on Oct. 1, Epiphany on Jan. 6, and St. Nicholas on Dec. 6. The change, however, will not apply to Easter and Pentecost.

In this manner, the OCU calendar will be in alignment with the Orthodox churches in Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, which follow the New Julian calendar, created at the beginning of the 20th century as a compromise between the Gregorian calendar, followed by most Catholic and Protestant churches, and the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.


The Synod of Bishops adopted the resolution and final approval is expected to be given at a council convened once every five years, which will be held next on July 27, 2023.

In February the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) decided that it would switch to a new calendar after September 2023 and the church would celebrate Christmas on December 25.

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