Primate of UOC calls on all Orthodox to participate in All-Ukrainian Cross procession

June 27, the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine addressed all the Orthodox in Ukraine on the occasion of the All-Ukrainian Cross procession of peace, love and prayer for Ukraine, reports the Synodal Information and Enlightenment Department of the UOC.

The All-Ukrainian Cross procession with a prayer for Ukraine will begin on July 9 in the west of Ukraine – from the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra, and on July 3 in the east of Ukraine – from the Holy Dormition Svyatogorsk Lavra and pass through all of the dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

On July 27, the eve of the celebration of the Baptism of Kievan Rus and the memory of St. Vladimir, these processions will meet in Kiev on St. Vladimir's Hill and together will move to the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, where ceremonial divine services will be held. The processions will accompany by the miraculous icons of the Mother of God – "Pochaev", "Svyatogorsk" and other revered shrines. The Cross procession, which starts simultaneously in the West and in the East, will unite all the Orthodox in Ukraine.

"In the life of every Christian, there are times when they must remember that they are not just believers, but part of the Orthodox Church – the Body of Christ. And each of us determines the fate of the Church and the country," said His Beatitude.

 "With deep sorrow at the heart, we are all going through a new tragedy - in the east of Ukraine armed conflict continues, innocent blood of our countrymen is shed. The most our Church can make is to call for peace and intensify prayers for peace in our Ukrainian land, and that’s what we have been doing from the beginning of the hostilities. But despite the peacekeeping mission of the Church, She is being made hostile to the Ukrainian society. Today, in a peaceful territory of Ukraine interfaith war is breaking out; various provocations are set up directed against the clergy and the laity, in particular, and against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a whole. At the same time, cases are known when the unifying power of prayer of the faithful works wonders," said Metropolitan Onufriy.

"The Orthodox Church has always been a power that unites all people of our country", said the Primate.

"The Cross procession is not just our spiritual feat. This is a deliberate, willful act of every Christian soul that in fact follows the Gospel’s commandments. Therefore, the simple contemplation of the religious procession is not enough. This is the time to show your Christian conscience. He who can go in the procession for a long time – let him go. He who can walk only in his locality – let him do it. If you can feed pilgrims – all this is also your participation in the general great mission," called Blessed.

Metropolitan Onufriy said that as once the Lord had mercy on the people of Nineveh, who refused food and water as a sign of repentance, so He may forgive us.

"We believe that the Mother of God, who so many times has defended our land, and now is in tears at the Throne of the Son, praying for us. And we must intensify our feat of prayer, dropping the anger, hatred, malice and getting armed with love and forgiveness so that mothers will stop shedding tears, so that children are not left orphans and women – widows, so that young people will not become disabled, so that our cities and villages will not get destroyed, and houses – abandoned. This is precisely the purpose of the All-Ukrainian religious procession – a walk of peace, love and prayer for Ukraine," summed up Metropolitan Onufriy.

It is to be recalled that on June 27, 2015, the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the repose of Prince Vladimir in Kiev took place. A solemn divine service was held by the Primate of the UOC, Metropolitan Onufriy, together with representatives of the Orthodox Churches. After the service, more than 20 thousand believers walked in a procession from Vladimir's Hill to the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, carrying icons of Mother of God and St. Vladimir with relics. 

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