Primate reflects on 2nd anniversary of war in Ukraine

February 24 will mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the start of the war. In the past twenty-four months, the Ukrainian people have faced the destruction of their cities and towns, and they have mounted spirited resistance. Many have had to flee Ukraine to find safety in neighbouring countries and around the world, including Canada.

The war continues unabated, bringing grief to families in Ukraine and in Russia, as soldiers on all sides are killed. Civilians are the collateral damage in bombings and drone attacks. Refugees wait and watch, longing to go home. International pressure has not yet been able to stop Russian aggression.

We long for an end to all wars. We long for “swords to be turned into ploughshares” and for a willingness to seek peace for the safety and security of all people. In the midst of our longing, we pray fervently for an end to war, joining our voice with voices around the world.

Last year, on the first anniversary of this war, I wrote: “This anniversary is not one for celebration. It is for lament and grief. It is for prayer – that God’s justice would prevail soon. It is a day to lament our human inability to live in peace with respect for the dignity of all. It is a day of profound sorrow.” Today, little has changed. Our lament continues.

Lord, have mercy.

 Prayer for Ukraine

God of peace and justice,
we pray for all people caught in the conflict in Ukraine today,
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment, humility and compassion to guide their decisions.
We pray for all who mourn the loss of loved ones killed in the conflict, Ukrainian and Russian,
Above all, we pray for all your children, at risk and in fear,
that your love would bring comfort.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

(adapted from Church of England Prayer)

Read a pastoral letter on Ukraine, Canada and the Church and prayers for peace in Ukraine, prepared and endorsed by the Canadian Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the Peace and Reconciliation Network of the World Evangelical Alliance.

Interested in keeping up-to-date on news, opinion, events and resources from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts .