CHICAGO, IL [DOM] – Ahead of the 2024 observance of Sanctity of Life Sunday, the Diocesan Chancery has issued the following memorandum to all of the clergy of the Diocese of the Midwest, as directed by His Eminence the Archbishop:
Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers,
Christ is in our midst!
At the request of our Father and Archbishop Daniel, I am writing to remind all of the Reverend Clergy that this Sunday, January 21, has been designated by the Holy Synod of Bishops as Sanctity of Life Sunday. Year after year, the Bishops of our Local Church set apart this Sunday to call on us to confess publicly—and beyond any partisan concerns—our fundamental Gospel commitment to the preservation of human life from conception to natural death, and to pray for the civil and social protection of those most vulnerable among us, especially the victims of abortion.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, in his capacity as Primate of the Church and President of the Holy Synod (OCA Statute IV.1, 4.2w), has issued his annual pastoral letter for Sanctity of Life Sunday, available online here:
This letter is for distribution to all faithful of the diocese, and may also be profitably read at the end of the Divine Liturgy. A PDF is attached here for your convenience.
More importantly still, the Synodally-approved Prayers for the Sanctity of Life are to be added to the divine services of the day: the three petitions at the Augmented Litany, and the prayer of supplication immediately after the Prayer Behind the Ambon. The text of these prayers is available on the OCA website:
Again, a PDF is attached to this letter for your convenience.
Finally, and to foster ongoing catechesis among the faithful, the Reverend Clergy are also reminded of the “Synodal Affirmations on Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life,” issued by the Holy Synod at the 10th All-American Council (Miami, Florida, 1992), which remain a reliable guide to the Church’s moral teaching and pastoral practice in these and related matters:
Yours in Christ,
Priest Esteban Vázquez