Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukrainians: I feel at home here
According to RISU, the service was held in two languages - Ukrainian and Greek.
Before the joint prayer of Thanksgiving, Patriarch Bartholomew was congratulated by children who are pupils of the Sunday school that operates at the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery. Several children prepared greetings to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Greek.
The OCU clergy from all over Ukraine and the full episcopate came to Kyiv for the service. The hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople took part in the prayer.
The service was also attended by ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko, who at one time did a lot to establish relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
After the prayer service, the head of the OCU, Epifaniy thanked Patriarch Bartholomew for his visit to Kyiv. He recalled how the patriarch of Constantinople, and then still a metropolitan, came to Ukraine 30 years ago when Ukrainians were just fighting for their independence.
The Ecumenical Patriarch, addressing the audience, noted that in Kyiv he feels at home. And not only because I have already visited this land, but because Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate have centuries-old relations.
"The Holy predecessor, Patriarch Photius, was the first to throw the fruit-bearing grain of the Gospel here. And, of course, because the Kyiv Metropolis was an integral canonical territory and Metropolis under the leadership of our Holy Apostolic and Patriarchal See," Bartholomew said.
It should be noted that on the eve of the prayer of Thanksgiving, Patriarch Bartholomew and Metropolitan Epifaniy laid flowers at the "Wall of Remembrance of the Fallen Defenders of Ukraine" and at the memorial sign to the victims of the Holodomor.