Title: Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council
Description: The Sunday before Pentecost is called the Sunday of the Holy Fathers. On this day each year we are asked to remember what our fathers did: specifically the 318 Church Fathers who came together in 325 AD in Nicea to form the First Ecumenical Council. The Emperor Constantine had just put an end to the bloody, three hundred-year persecution of the Church, during which 11 million Christians gave their lives for Christ. Christians now began coming out of the catacombs to worship in churches.
These 318 bishops came together to define the teachings of Christ which were being challenged by false teachers. They gave us, among other things, the Nicene Creed, the summary of our faith, which is still read at every Divine Liturgy. Our Church is often called the Church of the Fathers because she maintains a living connection with these early Church fathers. We are not a Church that was instituted a few years ago, or even a few centuries ago. As Ukrainian Christians, we have inherited all the experience of 21 centuries of Christian living and thinking and believing. We have behind us hundreds of believing men and women of every culture and tongue who witnesses to the truth of the Gospel, often dying for it in order to hand it down to us.
Date: June 16, 2013