According to the Council of Bishops for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU), the body will switch to the New Julian Calendar, otherwise known as the Gregorian Calendar, beginning on September 1st, 2023. The decision will be given final approval for general use by the Local Council on July 27th, 2023.
According to the bishops:
“This is a decision that the majority of the faithful of our Church and the majority of Ukrainian society are waiting for from us. This decision is not easy, we have been approaching it for a long time, gradually, step by step, and we are making it carefully. But it is as necessary as at one time, it was necessary to make a decision to introduce the living Ukrainian language in worship instead of the traditional Slavic one, to introduce an autocephalous system of Church life instead of centuries-old subordination. Not everyone accepted these decisions, not everyone supported them – but they were faithful and vitally necessary. Equally faithful and vital what is necessary for us is a decision to switch to an updated calendar, which is more accurate astronomically and ecclesiastically accepted, while preserving the traditional Easter.”
While the Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv will issue a new calendar, they also said that individual monasteries and parishes will not be forced to adopt the new calendar: “calendar reform will take place without coercion, gradually and consciously.”
The most significant change will be the relocation of Christmas from January 7th to December 25th, to align with most of the Christian world. This shift is another example of how the Ukrainian Orthodoxy is shifting from the Russian Orthodoxy which has elected to still remain under the Julian calendar. However, the Russian government does still follow the Gregorian calendar for secular use.