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The pre-Christmas period called “Advent” in the Latin rite is known as “Pylypivka” by Ukrainian Catholics. Pylypivka begins on November 15th (the day after the Feast of St. Philip) and continues for forty days until December 24th.
For the faithful, Pylypivka is a time of preparing our hearts and lives for the coming Christmas season. It’s characterized by fasting or the abstinence of certain foods, prayer, attending pre-Christmas services, and acts of charity to others.


The theme of Pylypivka this year is “We Believe in the Nativity”


The theme of Pylypivka this year at IHMS is “We Believe in the Nativity”, and to get things started, a prayer service was held in the school gym on Friday, November 22. Each of the elementary grade classrooms (grades 1 to 4) gave a short presentation about the Nativity while focusing on their new Religion program “We Believe”.


assembled in gym
Students and teachers assembled in the gym for a Pylypivka service


Click here to view a few photos of the Pylypivka prayer service


IHMS will also be undertaking a school wide Christian Service project during Pylypivka to purchase farm animals through World Vision for disadvantaged families in impoverished countries. To read additional information on the World Vision website, click here.


Although parents and students are free to donate at any time during Pylypivka,  Tuesday’s will be known as “Toonie Tuesdays”, where students are encouraged to donate two dollars on every Tuesday during Pylypivka. The school hopes that this Christian service project will raise enough money to “fill a stable” with farm animals for a third world country. toonie4


goat sheep goat2


Also during Pylypivka, the students and staff will be selling “Mary’s Angels”. These glass figurines are a keepsake and remembrance for deceased loved ones. An example of a Mary’s Angel for this year (they vary from year to year) can be seen in the photos to the left and below. The photos are of the same figurine taken from 2 different angles.
When an individual purchases an Angel, a prayer card is filled out at the school with the loved one’s name. The cards are attached to an Angel ornament and placed on the “Mary”s Angels Tree” located in the front foyer of the school. A Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by the students and staff on Wednesday, December 22nd at 1:00 p.m. for the intentions of the loved ones.
After the Christmas season the Angels will be sent home with each of the students that sold them. The Angels are then given to the clients who purchased them as a keepsake in memory of their loved ones.Each Mary’s Angel can be purchased for $5.00, or a package of three for $15.00. Order forms will be sent out soon after the first Pylypivka Service.
The proceeds from this project will go towards Marian Hour Centre, Radio Rosary on CKJS where the rosary is recited every evening from 10:30 – 10:45 p.m.
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