Kyivan Patriarchate Holds Celebratory Events on Day of Baptism of Rus
On 27-28 July, in Kyiv, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate held celebratory events and services on occasion of the Day of baptism of Rus-Ukraine and remembrance of Prince Volodymyr the Great. The Divine Service was led by the head of that Church, Patriarch Filaret in concelebration with approximately 40 bishops and representatives of the clergy from all the eparchies of the Kyivan Patriarchate.
According to the web site of the Kyivan Patriarchate, on 27 July, at St. Volodymyr’s Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv, all-night vigils were held and on 28 July, the Divine Service was celebrated. The patriarch said a sermon on remembrance of Prince Volodymyr.
After the liturgy, a religious procession was held from the cathedral to the monument to Prince Volodymyr. According to a report, it consisted of 20 thousand people including 1.5 thousand priests.
This year’s procession was special for the fact that its participants stopped at the Square of the Holy Sophia and held a public prayer meeting on occasion of the 1000th anniversary of laying of the foundation of the Cathedral of the Holy Sophia.
The hierarch briefly addressed the participants and noted that this place is sacred for all the Ukrainians and all Orthodox Christians as the Cathedral of the Holy Sophia was a sight of historic events at the times of the Kyivan Rus, the Cossack times and in the modern history. “We lost our state because of our sins, but the Lord had mercy on us, saw the desire of our nation to be free and revive spiritually and gave both the independent state and the Local Ukrainian Church.”
The procession then went on to the monument to Prince Volodymyr. A prayer service was served here where Prince Volodymyr, Princess Olha, Prince Yaroslav the Wise and all the Ukrainian saints were remembered in prayer.
After the prayer service, Patriarch Filaret addressed the participants. He reminded that the baptism made our nation turn from untruth to the truth and that our state in the princely times was strong because it was led by the saints, Princess Olha, Prince Volodymyr, Prince Yaroslav the Wise. And when it was governed by the saints, it prospered. But when the rulers began to sin, multiply hatred, the state declined. “And this is a lesson for us. If we wish Ukraine prosperity, we should live a pious life according to God’s commandments, in love for each other,” noted the head of UOC-KP.
The patriarch also stressed the necessity of unification of Orthodoxy in Ukraine and establishment of one local Orthodox Church. “We are not enemies of Russia, the Russian Church. We are brothers and sincere ones. But we want to enjoy the brotherhood as equals but not to be subordinate,” noted the patriarch.