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An altar was set up in the gym for the Holodomor prayer service


On Friday, November 23, students and staff of IHMS gathered in the gym for a Holodomor prayer service. This year marks the 85th anniversary of the horrendous famine that killed an estimated 10 million Ukrainians.


Students and staff  gathered in the gym for the Holodomor prayer service


“Holodomor” is the name given to the famine that occurred in Ukraine from 1932 to 1933. As many as 10 million Ukrainians perished as victims of the man-made famine, with 25,000 dying each day at the peak of the famine.


Wooden spoons painted by the students were on display near the altar


The name Holodomor is the Ukrainian word for “plague of hunger”, or “death inflicted by starvation” derived from two words, “holod” – which means starvation or famine and “moryty” – which means to inflict death.



For some Ukrainians, the Holodomor is still a painful memory from their childhood (two of these survivors attended last year’s service). Many other Ukrainians have a personal connection with friends or relatives who either survived or perished in the genocide.


Student participation in the prayer service is shown in the top two photos. Representatives of the Lubov Foundation are shown in the bottom two photos.


The highlight of the service involved the lighting of 10 candles at the altar. The candles represented the 10 million Ukrainians who perished in the genocide. The candles were lit by students from each grade (from K-8) and by one teacher, Mrs. Stanowych.


Students (and Mrs. Stanowych) lighting the 10 candles at the altar


The prayer service ended with each student making the sign of the cross and bowing in front of the altar.




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